item in Daily News, 10 May 2016
Sri Lanka Cricket’s Rs. 26 million Super under 19 provincial tournament reaches its climax when Southern Province meets North Western Province in the three-day final at the R Premadasa Stadium from tomorrow (Wednesday). The final originally scheduled to commence today was postponed by a day in order to give the two finalists recovery time before they confront each other over three days. The group matches were played over two days.
Both teams qualified by heading their respective groups at the end of the first round where ten teams participated in two groups. With prize money worth over Rs. 500,000 thrown in – Rs. 300,000 to the winner and Rs. 200,000 to the runner-up in addition to Rs. 25,000 to the Man of the final and Rs. 10,000 for each man of the match the tournament produced some exciting cricket amongst the under 19 cricketers whom SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala described as ‘the future of Sri Lanka cricket’.
To make the tournament more competitive SLC have endeavoured to pick at least one outstanding player who would be included in the national team. “We will pick a player who will be suitable for the particular tour and for the requirement of the team. Our intention is not to give him a tour just to sit on the bench, we want him to try and play. He has to be in the squad with a chance of playing not a bench player. Then only the pressure will come to the national team. That’s our intention,” said Sumathipala prior to the launch of the tournament. “This tournament is our future and we are looking at continuous investments in it. The 2019 World Cup in England is something we are looking at having a majority of these players in the team.”
The tournament threw up some eye catching performances producing five centurions and four batsmen topping the 300-run mark in the four group matches. On top of the pile was Prince of Wales southpaw Vishwa Chaturanga with 345 runs who represented Western Province (South) followed by Navidu Nirmal of St Aloysius Galle whose contribution of 338 runs played a big part in Southern Province reaching the finals. Lasith Croosepulle (Eastern Province) and Avishka Fernando (Western Province South) the other two batters to cross the 300-run mark and Western Province (Central)’s Kaveesha de Silva proved they are big hitters of the red cherry with each of them slamming 11 sixes apiece.
Southern Province also had two of their bowlers occupying the top two slots in the bowling averages. Hareen Buddhika of St Aloysius Galle and Dilum Sudeera of Karandeniya Central – both left-arm leg-spinners took 25 and 22 wickets each. A strange coincidence is that of the top ten bowlers in the tournament eight of them are left-arm leg-spinners (See table on page 22.)
On paper Southern Province with equally good contributions in batting and bowling look the strong favourites to win, but one cannot rule out North Western Province who have not relied on individuals but have got all-round contributions to reach the final.
Southern Province (from): Chatura Milan, Navidu Nirmal, Kavish Kumara, Amindu Mendis, Ashen Bandara, Kavindu Ediriweera, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Hareen Buddhika, Prashan Kumara, Dilum Sudeera, Nipun Ranshitha, Thilanga Udeshan.
North Western Province (from): Nipun Dananjaya, Keshan Wanniarachchi, Suwarasiri Wanninayake, Damitha Silva, Heshan Danushka, RK Ranasinghe, Ashan Dakshitha, Kamesh Nirmal, Tharindu Vimukthi, Dilshan Kollure, Kaveen Bandara, PS Ganegama, PM Dharmadasa.