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Charith and Bhanuka pilot Sri Lanka under 19 to victory

Left arm seamer Charith Jayampathy snapped up four wickets and Bhanuka Rajapaksa hammered a sparkling unbeaten half century as Sri Lanka launched their campaign for the ICC Under-19 World Cup with a smashing eight wicket victory over Zimbabwe in their rain curtailed opening group match worked off at Lincoln in Christchurch yesterday.

The Lankans dismissed their opponents for 121 runs in 33.3 overs and then reached their target from 25 overs. Even then Sri Lanka had to fend off a fired-up Zimbabwe pace attack before completing their victory.

Chasing 122 for victory, Sri Lankan openers Udara Jayasundara and Andri Berenger laid the platform for the chase but it was no easy road as they withstood a barrage from the Zimbabwe pacemen.

The pair accumulated 35 runs in 10 overs, until Berenger was caught behind by wicket keeper Dean Mashawidza off Nathan Waller for 16. Jayasundara went the same way, but Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Rumesh Buddhika finished the match for Sri Lanka with aplomb, relishing the start they had been given.

Man of the Match Rajapaksa hit a delightful 52 not out from 43 balls, as Sri Lanka reached the target in the 25th over. For Zimbabwe Nathan Waller was aggressive and tested the batsmen, thoroughly deserving his two wickets for 27 runs.

Earlier, Sri Lanka put Zimbabwe into bat and immediately had them in trouble - dismissing the top four batsmen for 12 runs. Captain Chathura Peiris captured both openers with his left-arm fast deliveries, while fellow left-armer Charith Jayampathi chipped another two batsmen out cheaply, impressing with the lift he extracted from the pitch.

Zimbabwe continued to lose wickets, slipping to 44 for seven, before the eighth wicket stand of the innings - a defiant partnership between number seven, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, and number nine, Simon Mugava, which added 47 valuable runs.

Zimbabwe were all out for 121, failing by just three balls to finish the 34 overs available after rain delayed the start of play - a good recovery after looking like they would capitulate for less than 50. Mutombodzi finished unbeaten on 42, hitting five boundaries in his courageous innings.

ZIMBABWE UNDER-19 

P.J. Moor c Vithanage b Peiris		 0
G. Chirimuta lbw b Peiris		 4
M. Zambuko c Berenger b Madushanka	 1
D. Mazhawidza c Vithanage b Jayampathi	 4
A. Lindsay c Buddhika b Jayampathi	 3
D.R. Higgins c Berenger b Jayampathi	 6
T.C. Mutombodzi not out			42
N. Waller c Berenger b Jayampathi	10
S.M. Mugava  b Jayasundera		21
C.W. Price c Vithanage b Peiris		 5
T. Chitara b Jayasundera		10

Extras (lb 10, w 4, nb 1)		15
Total (all out in  33.3 overs)		121

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-5, 3-5, 4-12, 5-19, 6-20, 7-44, 8-91, 9-107.
Bowling: C. Peiris 7-4-14-3, T. Madushanka 7-4-11-1, C. Jayampathi 7-0-26-4, B. Rajapaksa 4-0-20-0, 
M. Gunathilleke 2-0-7-0, U. Jayasundera 4.3-0-24-2, R Jaleel 2-0-9-0.

SRI LANKA UNDER-19

U. Jayasundera c Mazhawidza b Waller	30
A. Berenger c Mazhawidza b Waller	16
B. Rajapaksa not out			52
R. Buddhika not out			19

Extras (w 8)				 8
Total (2 wickets in  24.2 overs)	125
Did not bat: K. Vithanage, P. Fernando, M. Gunathilleke, C. Peiris, C. Jayampathi, R. Jaleel, T. Madushanka.
Fall of wickets: 1-52, 2-65.
Bowling: T. Chitara 6-0-29-0, C. Price 5-0-23-0, N. Waller 7-0-26-2, S.M. Mugava 2-0-12-0, 
M. Zambuko 3-0-15-0, A. Lindsay 1-0-12-0, D.R. Higgins 0.2-0-8-0.

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