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U-19 CWC: Australia, Sri Lanka begin in style, crush West Indies and Scotland

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Providence (Guyana), Jan 15 (IANS) A patient unbeaten 86 by Australia’s top-order batter Teague Wyllie helped them defeat hosts West Indies by six wickets with more than five overs remaining in the opening match of the U-19 ICC Cricket World Cup here on Saturday (IST).

Set a target of 170 to win, Australia managed to win in just 44.5 overs for the loss of four wickets.

Sri Lanka also record an opening-day win with the Dunith Wellalage-led side thrashing Scotland by 40 runs. Wicketkeeper-batter Sakuna Nidarshana Liyanage’s effort of 85 gave Sri Lanka U-19 a competitive 218. Their bowlers then restricted Scotland to 178 in 48.4 overs in a Group D match at Georgetown.

Australia delivered a dominant early statement of intent as the three-time champions breezed past West Indies by six wickets in a Group D match to get their tournament off to a flyer and inflict an early blow on the hosts in Guyana.

The Cooper Connolly-led side required just 40.1 overs to take all 10 West Indian wickets and spearheaded by opener Wyllie, chased down their target of 170 to win with ease.

After Ackeem Auguste’s side had been bowled out for just 169 — with almost 10 overs to spare — Wyllie’s clinical 86 not out helped Australia complete the most impressive display of the day and win within 45 overs.

Australia’s seamers had caused havoc with the new ball as opening bowlers Tom Whitney (3/20) and William Salzmann (1/19) reduced the hosts to 12/3 after 5.1 overs. Skipper Auguste’s defiant 57, bolstered by wicket-keeper Rivaldo Clarke’s 37, propelled them to a fourth-wicket partnership of 95 but wickets at regular intervals after Clarke’s dismissal proved the West Indians’ downfall.

Australian captain Connolly and off-spinner Nivethan Radhakrishna took three wickets apiece as West Indies, winners of the ICC U19 CWC in 2016, were unable to muster a match-winning total.

And that inability was capitalised on by the Australians, who overcame the early dismissals of top order batters Corey Miller and Isaac Higgins to power to a straightforward victory. Wyllie’s impressive innings was assisted by Radhakrishnan’s 31 and Connolly’s 23 as Australia — champions in 1988, 2002 and 2010 — got their tournament off to the perfect start.

In the other game on the opening day, Wellalage’s side posted a competitive first innings total of 218 before economical middle over spells from their versatile attack — including five wickets for captain Wellalage — skittled the Scots for just 178 inside 49 overs.

Wellalage’s left-arm spin saw him rack up formidable figures of 5/27 from nine overs as Scotland were unable to ever get going in pursuit of their 219 target.

Sakuna Nidarshana Liyanage was the hero with the bat for the Sri Lankans, striking a run-a-ball 85 to haul his side up to a total that left the game intriguingly poised at the halfway mark.

Raveen de Silva (30) delivered some important runs from the tail while contributions from top order batters Chamindu Wickramasinghe (28) and Sadisha Rajapaksa (24) left Charlie Peet’s Scots with considerable work to do.

Sean Fischer-Keogh (3/56), Jack Jarvis and Oliver Davidson — two wickets apiece — starred with the ball but Scotland were unable to mount a viable attempt with the bat as Sri Lanka’s spinners turned the screw.

Spearheaded by Wellalage’s brilliance, the 2000 runners-up suffocated the Scots as Shevon Daniel (2/16), Matheesha Pathirana and Wanuja Sahan also took important wickets.

Only middle-order batter Jarvis, who notched 55 off 61 balls after arriving at the crease with scoreboard pressure intensifying, scored over 20 for Scotland after the top four failed to fire in the face of some accurate Sri Lankan bowling.

A flurry of late wickets saw Scotland eventually dismissed with eight balls of the innings remaining, 40 runs short of Sri Lanka who will look to build valuable momentum ahead of their mouth-watering Monday meeting with fellow Friday winners Australia.

Brief scores: West Indies 169 in 40.1 overs (Ackeem Auguste 57; Tom Whitney 3/20, Nivethan Radhakrishnan 3/48, Cooper Connolly 3/17) lost to Australia 170/4 in 44.5 overs (Teague Wyllie 86 not out) by six wickets.

Sri Lanka 218 in 45.2 overs (Sakuna Nidarshana Liyanage 85; Sean Fischer-Keogh 3/56) beat Scotland 178 in 48.4 overs (Jack Jarvis 55; Dunith Wellalage 5/27, Shevon Daniel 2/16) by 40 runs.

–IANS

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