India dominate but Sri Lanka hold on for draw
India Under-19s 503 for 7 dec (Zol 173, Samson 89, Karunaratne 4-94) drew with Sri Lanka Under-19s 256 (Kulasekara 76, Yadav 4-95) and 264 for 9 (Samarawickrama 88, Sumanasiri 62)
Sri Lanka's final-wicket partnership withstood 55 balls to salvage a draw against India in Dambulla. Following on after they could only muster 256 in the first innings in reply to India's 503 - a total courtesy a magnificent 173 from captain Vijay Zol - Sri Lanka's No. 8 Ramesh Medis and No. 11 Lakshan Jayasinghe held firm till close of play.
India were asked to bat first and their top five all passed fifty. Shubham Khajuria dominated a 79-run opening partnership, striking 10 fours during an innings of 52 off 61 balls, while his partner Akhil Herwadkar collected his 71 runs at a more sedate pace. But India's innings revolved around Zol's century, which included 21 fours and two sixes. He and Sanju Samson, who made 89, put India on top with a third-wicket partnership of 200 runs. Samson was denied a century by Chamika Karunaratne, who also accounted for Zol and finished as Sri Lanka's best bowler with four wickets. Shreyas Iyer chipped in with 65 as India declared at 503 for 7.
Sri Lanka needed one of their batsmen to emulate Zol, but their top score was a patient 76 from Kavindu Kulasekara. Having begun gingerly, they lost Kusal Mendis in the eighth over, before opener Hashan Dumindu and Kulasekara steadied the innings. Kuldeep Yadav, who picked up four wickets in the innings, broke their 76-run stand for the second wicket. Minod Bhanuka was the only other batsman to cross fifty but after he became the fourth wicket to fall with the score at 197, India wrapped up remaining batsmen for an additional 59 runs and invited Sri Lanka to follow-on.
Mendis fell early again and was followed by Kulasekara in the 13th over. Iyer compounded Sri Lanka's problems by removing Dumindu and Bhanuka off successive balls before Sri Lanka recovered through Sadeera Samarawickrama, whose 88 off 141 balls included 15 fours and a six.
But the home side were staring at defeat when Samawickrama fell, soon after notching up Sri Lanka's only century partnership in the match with Thilaksha Sumanasiri. Sumanasiri's half-century continued the resistance, though, and he ate away enough time before he fell for 62 off 133 balls for the last-wicket pair to hold on till the end of day's play.