A stonewall performance by Sri Lanka’s No 6 batsman wrested the initiative away from South Africa U19s on day two of the second Youth Test in Kurunegala.
They ended the day on 251-4 in reply to South Africa’s 244 on day one.
It was all looking so promising for Wiaan Mulder’s men when they had Sri Lanka at 69-4 after 32 overs. The St Stithians captain himself took two wickets in the 10th over to put the Sri Lanka youths on their heels at 31-3, and left-arm paceman Akhona Mnyaka followed up by taking two in successive overs.
But opener Pathum Nissanka was in good form and looking for support. He found it in Ashen Bandara, who took to the anchoring role with blind determination. He patiently worked his way to 52 off 186 balls, touching the boundary on eight occasions whenever offered the opportunity.
It gave Nissanka the security to play with increasing freedom as he powered his way to 150 off 257 balls, with 10 fours and a six.
It will take some enterprising cricket to get a result out of this match on the third and final day; which will leave the series drawn at 0-0 going into the third ‘Test’ .
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images