Sri Lanka got off to a winning start as they toppled Scotland by 40 runs on the opening day of the ICC U19 Men’s CWC – so often a breeding ground for the game’s future superstars.
Sri Lanka executed a skillful defence of their total as captain fantastic Wellalage and his bowlers fired them to victory in Georgetown.
Wellalage’s canny left-arm spin saw him rack up formidable figures of five for 27 from nine overs as Scotland were unable to ever get going in pursuit of their 219-run target.
Earlier, Sakuna Nidarshana Liyanage had been the hero with the bat for the Sri Lankans, striking a majestic run-a-ball 85 to haul his side up to a total that left the game intriguingly poised at the halfway mark.
Raveen de Silva (30) delivered some important runs from the tail while contributions from top-order batters Chamindu Wickramasinghe (28) and Sadisha Rajapaksa (24) left Charlie Peet’s Scots with considerable work to do.
Sean Fischer-Keogh (3-56), Jack Jarvis and Oliver Davidson – two wickets apiece – starred with the ball but underdogs Scotland were unable to mount a viable attempt with the bat as Sri Lanka’s spinners turned the screw.
Spearheaded by Wellalage’s brilliance, the 2000 runners-up suffocated the Scots as Shevon Daniel (2-16), Matheesha Pathirana and Wanuja Sahan also took important wickets.
Only middle-order batter Jarvis, who notched 55 off 61 balls after arriving at the crease with scoreboard pressure intensifying, scored over 20 for Scotland after the top four failed to fire in the face of some accurate Sri Lankan bowling.
A flurry of late wickets saw Scotland eventually dismissed with eight balls of the innings remaining, 40 runs short of Sri Lanka who will look to build valuable momentum ahead of their mouth-watering Monday meeting with fellow Friday winners Australia.