Sri Lanka Under-17s trounce Pakistan Under-17s to clinch the Trophy

The anxiously awaited final between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the two top teams in the competition was played at the National Stadium Karachi

The anxiously awaited final between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the two top teams in the competition was played at the National Stadium Karachi. The teams were evenly balanced and equally favourite, but at the end Sri Lanka proved superior in all departments of the game. Despite a batting collapse they piled up a challenging total of 230 to defeat Pakistan by 57 runs and clinch the trophy.
Sri Lanka opened with Ehsan Mutalib and Harish Ratnayke, playing aggressive cricket from the very beginning. Making use of Pakistan's careless and colorless fielding, they hit thrilling shots to the boundary rather too often.
Maintaining an impressive run rate of over 6, they took Sri Lanka to 69 for no loss in 10 overs. Continuing with the run spree, the two of them raised the score to 106 in 20 overs.
Following a well-planned strategy, the Sri Lanka youngsters were losing no opportunity of collecting runs. The run spree continued till the 1st wickets fell at 149. Ehsan Mutalip was out after scoring an adventurous 71. With Sri Lanka at 178 his opening partner Ratnayke was also back to the pavilion after playing an enterprising innings of 81 runs. The ouster of these two stalwarts set in a collapse for Sri Lanka.
Except for skipper Jehan Jayasuriya who scored a brilliant 30, the other batsmen who followed could not face the Pakistan spinners with confidence. The wickets started tumbling one after the other, bringing Pakistan back in the game. Pakistan fielding also picked up to check the free flow of runs. By the time Sri Lanka crossed the 200 runs mark in 39 overs they were down by 6 wickets. They lost the 7th wickets at 220, making it a total of 7 wickets lost within a span of 69 runs.
As the overs were running out, the batsmen resorted to wild hits to collect the maximum runs. In the process the whole team was out for 230 runs, offering Pakistan a fighting target of 231 to win. Faisal Khan 4 for 33 and Munir Ansari 3 for 54 were the major wicket takers.
Confronted with a fighting victory target of 231, the Pakistan openers Salman Butt and Khalid Latif started off with tremendous confidence. They gave an emaculate display of batting by hitting some remarkable strokes all around the field and taking the score to 86 when Khalid Latif was out after a nicely played innings of 39.
Pakistan was steadily advancing towards the target at 147 for 4 when it was struck with a big blow. Skipper Salman Butt playing the sheet anchor was run out after playing a gallant innings of 72. His ouster that rendered Pakistan to 147 for 5, brought in the procession of batsmen walking to the pavilion one after the other. Not being able to sustain Sri Lanka's pressure, the whole team was out for a total of 173 runs.
By trouncing Pakistan by 57 runs, Sri Lanka grabbed the coveted trophy. Having had a clean sweep over its opponents and performed remarkably well in the finals, they deserved to be the champions. For a haul of 3 for 25 Ishara Dilshan was declared Man of the Match while Jeewan Mendis grabbed Man of the Series Award. All said and done, the tournament was an excellent attempt to promote cricket on junior level.