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In-form Lankan juniors take on Kiwis today

Sri Lanka will be hoping to maintain their excellent form when they take on New Zealand in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Under 19 World Cup quarterfinal fixture at the Royal Selangor Club in Kuala Lumpur today.

The Lankans will go into this important game with a good frame of mind after having topped their group with three successive victories including a smashing five wicket win over former two time champions Australia in Penang.

Even then head coach Roger Wijesuriya said that they would consider this match as another crucial game in the tournament and is hoping that the boys will not be overconfident following their outstanding performances in the first round of this sixteen nation competition.

The Lankans have certainly built up a fine reputation of having one of the best bowling attacks in the tournament with a four prong spin combination spearheaded by Sachith Pathirana.

The left arm spinner has emerged as the teams leading wicket taker and has formed a superb combination along with Navin Kavikara, Umesh Karunaratne and Roshane Silva.

Pathirana is also in line for the Player of the Tournament award following some brilliant performances with both bat and ball. He is currently placed second in the latest standings with a total of five points including one man of the match award.

New Zealandís Timothy Southee heads the list with a total of six points although he is yet to win a man of the match award.

Sri Lanka of course have met the Kiwis only on three occasions and have lost twice with one match ending in a no result. However they will start as the favourites simply because of their present form and their rankings where they are seeded third in the competition.

Even then Kane Williamsonís side will be hoping to improve on New Zealandís performances at the last event where they failed to reach even the Super League section of the competition.

And although they managed to make it through to the Plate Final two years ago, they slumped to a disappointing one-wicket defeat to Nepal in a thrilling match.

But he will need support from the likes of Corey Anderson, Greg Morgan, Tim Southee, and Trent Boult who were selected for the New Zealand ĎAí teams three week training camp in Darwin last year, if they are to perform well.

Of the other key players, Canterburyís Corey Anderson, who made his first-class debut at the age of just 16, played in last seasonís State Championship final along with Tim Southee, and will be hoping to use that experience to have a high impact at this level.

The side will also look to all rounder Greg Morgan, who on his first-class debut for Auckland against Northern Districts made a brilliant 83 not out while batting at number ten after coming in at 85 for 8.

New Zealandís youngsters performed well against India in February 2007, drawing a two-match Test series and narrowly losing a one-day series 2-1, including a thrilling last ball one-wicket victory in the second One Day International.

The teams:

New Zealand (from): Kane Williamson (captain), Corey Anderson, Nicholas Beard, Harry Boam, Trent Boult, Michael Bracewell, Tamati Clarke, Fraser Colson, Michael Guptill-Bunce, Greg Morgan, Andrew Dodd, Hamish Rutherford, Timothy Southee, Anurag Verma and George Worker.

Sri Lanka (from): Ashan Subasinghe (captain), Sachith Pathirana, Thisara Perera, Roshane Silva, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Dilshan Munaweera, Imesh Udayanga, Navin Kavikara, Denuwan Fernando, Ishan Jayaratne, Angelo Perera, Chathura Peiris, Umesh Karunarathna and Kusal Perera



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