Sri Lanka losses all part of the learning curve for U19 team

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 10 August, 2007, 12:00am

Tasting victory in Sri Lanka will be a rare occurrence as the Hong Kong under-19s learned after losing two Twenty/20 matches to Moratuwa Sports Club in their opening games of a tour which is being used to hammer the side into shape for the forthcoming ACC Under-19 Cup in Malaysia.

Despite the loss, Hong Kong coach Lal Jayasinghe was optimistic about the performance, especially the batting which was able to pass the 100-run mark in both games.

'To score over 100 runs in both games was pleasing,' said Jayasinghe. 'It was the team's first competitive game on turf wickets since we arrived and they were up against top-quality opposition. To see the batsmen get more than 100 in 20 overs is promising.'

Hong Kong scored 120 for five in the first match, with vice-captain Irfan Ahmed top-scoring with 46. In the second match they reached 105 for five.

Both totals were insufficient as the home team plundered the bowling to register easy wins.

'The important aspect of this tour is to see where we are and getting used to playing consistently on turf wickets,' Jayasinghe said.

'We will be training every day and playing against four top schools in Colombo. It will be a very intensive workout for the guys.'

The 14-strong squad led by Courtney Kruger will be in Colombo until August 18 preparing for the World Cup qualifiers from August 18-29.

Hong Kong are drawn with Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar and hosts Malaysia in pool B, while the other pool comprises Nepal, Thailand, Oman, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

The top team will qualify for the Under-19 World Cup in 2008.

Hong Kong squad:

Courtney Kruger, Irfan Ahmed, Nadeem Ahmed, Jamie Atkinson, Zuaid Khan, Nicholas Lau, Shakeel Haq, Zafran Ali, Robert Bacon, John Bacon, Ashish Gaudia, Shivang Baid, Sajjid Khan, Indrajeet Singh Gill.