The Sri Lanka Under-23 Team set up a final showdown with the Pakistan Under-23 Team when they pulled off a convincing eight-wicket victory over Bangladesh Under-23 in their ACC Emerging Teams Cup semi-final fixture worked off in Chittagong, Bangladesh on Saturday (1).
In the other semi-final, Pakistan Under-23 cruised to a resounding 123-run victory over the giant killers Afghanistan Emerging Team in their match also played in Chittagong on Saturday (1).
The final between Sri Lanka Under-23 and Pakistan Under-23 will be played on Monday (3) in Chittagong.
Sri Lanka Under-23 Team’s victory was set up by their Man of the Match and opening bowler Asitha Fernando who produced a superb hostile spell of bowling to claim four wickets for 32 runs (including a hat-trick) after Bangladesh Under-23 had earlier won the toss and elected to bat first.
However, Fernando rocked the Bangladesh Under-23 Team with great seam and swing as he completed his hat-trick in the seventh over by capturing the wickets of Asiff Hossain, Mominul Haque and Nazmul Hossain in the first, second and third deliveries respectively.
Bangladesh Under-23 managed to recover and reached a more respectable 179 in the end following some useful contributions from the late order batting Nasir Hossain (39), Mohammad Saifuddin (37) and Abul Hasan (23).
Even then, this total was not good enough to cause any challenge to the Sri Lanka Under-23 Team as they raced to their target with more than 10 overs to spare.
Sri Lanka Under-23 of course suffered a double blow at the start of their innings while losing opener Ron Chandraguptha and Shehan Jayasuriya in the space of three deliveries.
However, Charitha Asalanka joined opener Sadeera Samarawickrema and the pair took the game away from Bangladesh Under-23 by putting on 165 runs for the unfinished third wicket.
Wicket-keeper batsman Samarawickrema struck and unbeaten 88 from 100 balls with the help of ten boundaries while Asalanka was 83 not out from 121 deliveries having hoisted one six and nine boundaries.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Under-23 secured their place in the final with a smashing 123-run victory over the Afghanistan Emerging Team in their semi-final encounter.
Pakistan Under-23 put into bat, rattled up a formidable 267 for five from their 50 overs and then bowled out their opponents for a modest 144 in 31.4 overs.
Bangladesh Under-23: 179 in 49.3 overs (Saif Hassan 32, Nasir Hossain 39, Mohammad Saifuddin 37, Abul Hasan 23, Asitha Fernando 4/32)
Sri Lanka Under-23: 180/2 in 38.5 overs (Sadeera Samarawickrema 88 n.o, Charith Asalanka 83 n.o).
Pakistan Under-23: 267/5 in 50 overs (Hussain Talat 37, Haris Sohail 68, Mohammad Rizwan 105 n.o, Gulbadin Naib 3/15)
Afghanistan Emerging Team: 144 in 31.4 overs (Younas Ahmadzai 27, Samiullah Shenwari 25, Munir Ahmad 29, Najibullah Zadran 31, Hussain Talat 2/19, Bilal Asif 5/40).