Australia's Under-19s push hard on final day but finish three wickets short of victory in first match of six-game series
Australia Under-19s have been denied victory despite a valiant final-day bowling effort in their series-opening match against Sri Lanka U19s at Kingston's Twin Ovals.
Setting the visitors 268 to win from nearly two sessions, Australia made steady inroads but fell three wickets short of a win in the only red-ball match of the six-game series in Hobart.
Fast-bowler Ryan Hadley did best for the hosts, picking up 4-41 from 12 overs to take his match haul to 5-72.
Sri Lanka resumed the day still batting in their first-innings, with No.10 Nipun Ransika (31) dominating a frustrating final-wicket stand of 35 to take their side to 184 all out, after starting the day at 9-149.
Australian fast bowler Zak Evans finished with figures 4-61, including the final wicket of Ransika.
In reply, the hosts batted aggressively through the morning session and a handful of overs after lunch in an attempt to push for victory.
Openers Matt Spoors (33) and Ryan Hackney (27) combined for a 61-run partnership, before a late cameo of 23 from captain Will Sutherland allowed the Australians to declare at 8-142 after 30 overs.
Left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama bowled brilliantly for Sri Lanka, claiming 6-40 off nine overs.
Still needing 190 runs to win at tea, a win looked out of reach for the visitors but Australia kept their hopes alive by reducing Sri Lanka to 3-78 at the break.
And while Hadley led the charge, Nipun Sumanasinghe (31 not out) kept the Australia young guns at bay as the tourists finished on 7-201.
Allrounder Jack Edwards was named Player of the Match for his first innings century, which alongside a ton from Jonathan Merlo allowed the hosts to control the running of the game after a first innings of 6-309 declared.
The two teams' attentions now shift to limited-overs cricket, with the first of five 50-over clashes getting underway at the same venue on Thursday.
Aus U19s XII: Sutherland (c), Spoors, Hackney, Uppal, Sangha, Edwards, Merlo, Maladay (wk), Evans, Hadley, Carlisle, Pope #U19AUSvSL— CricketAus Pathways (@CAPathway) April 7, 2017
SL U19s XII: Mendis (c), Chathuranga, Croospulle, Boyagoda, Sanjula, Bandara, Daniel, Samanasinghe, Dilshan, Ransika, Jayawickrama, Prashan— CricketAus Pathways (@CAPathway) April 7, 2017