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Sri Lanka U19s bounce back to level series 1-1 against Australia U19s

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Sri Lanka Under 19s have held their nerve in a thrilling finish to seal an eight-run win against Australia Under 19s in Hobart, levelling the five-match Youth ODI Series at 1-1.

The hosts scored a thumping 160-run win in the first match, but Sri Lanka were more than up to the task with bat and ball in the second match at Kingston Twin Ovals. A much-improved batting performance from the visitors saw them post 222 before being dismissed in the 47th over, with five members of the top seven going past 20. 

Vishva Chathuranga (27 off 25 balls) got his side off to a flying start, before important contributions from Nipun Sumanasinghe (42), skipper Kamindu Mendis (31) and all-rounder Jehan Daniel (32) propelled Sri Lanka to a strong total.

Spin did the job for Australia on a slightly slower surface, with Lloyd Pope (3-51 off 10) and Player of the Match Param Uppal (2-29 off 10) the key men for Australia.

Medium-pacer Austin Waugh also impressed in his first bowl for the series, claiming 2-27 off nine overs, while Will Sutherland hit the pitch hard to collect 2-49 off 9.2 overs.

In response, Sri Lanka started brilliantly with the ball, claiming openers Ryan Hackney and Max Bryant cheaply.

Uppal (55) and skipper Jason Sangha (27) led the revival, before an entertaining stand from Waugh (33) and Sutherland (54 off 49 balls) saw Australia right back in the contest.

Keeper Lewin Maladay provided an important cameo of 23 off 19 balls, but two late run-outs stalled the Australian charge, with the hosts all out for 214 in the final over.

Paceman Nipun Ransika bowled brilliantly for Sri Lanka with 2-41 off 10 overs, with left-arm spinners Praveen Jayawickrama (1-37) and Mendis (1-29) also impressive.

The series is now 1-1, heading into the third match on Tuesday at Kingston Twin Ovals.