Scotland gave a great account of themselves in their ICC under-19 men’s World Cup opener in the West Indies on Friday, but ultimately lost out to Sri Lanka by 40-runs.
The first Group D game at the Everest Cricket Club in Georgetown saw the Scots bowlers putting in a brilliant effort to restrict the Sri Lankans to 218 all out batting first.
The batters in the 50-over reply found things pretty tough early on in the face of some good bowling, but 55 from Jack Jarvis from 61 balls breathed life into the innings.
However, the middle order man fell in the 46th over and there was just too much for the tail enders to do as they were all out for 178.
Head coach Gordon Drummond said: “It is tough for the boys just now, but seeing them disappointed that they came up short against strong opponents is good because it shows that they know they can compete at this level.
“There were really two phases in the game when perhaps we needed to be a bit braver and back ourselves [with ball and bat] and those periods maybe cost us a shot at victory, but I can’t fault the efforts.
“Jack Jarvis put in a fantastic all-round performance and has been great so far on this tour while Lyle Robertson was excellent with the ball.
“We are just a bit disappointed because we weren’t far away from a side that got to the final of the Asia Cup.
“We just need to back ourselves going forward now and back our plans ball by ball as that will give us the best opportunity to get a victory in this group phase.”
Captain Charlie Peet said: “I thought we applied ourselves really well in this game and it is a disappointing feeling just now.
“In the field and with the ball I thought we were really good, maybe there was a period in the middle of their innings where we lost our way a little bit, but overall I was extremely pleased to keep them to 218.
“Ultimately we just left ourselves too much to do at the end with the bat. Jack Jarvis batted very well for his 50 and overall for the team this was a very good first outing and I hope the boys will take confidence from this forward into two big games next week.”
Having lost the toss and been asked to bowl, Sean Fischer-Keogh and skipper Peet opened the bowling.
At the end of the second over of the contest, bowled by Peet, Scotland took their first wicket of the tournament when Shevon Daniel was run out for four.
Sri Lanka took the score up to 60 in the 10th over when opener Chamindu Wickramasinghe was caught by Peet off the bowling of Jarvis for 28.
That breakthrough got the Scots’ tails up and just three balls later Jarvis had Pawan Pathiraja sharply stumped by wicketkeeper Charlie Tear for a duck.
In the next over, bowled by Oliver Davidson, things got even better when Sadisha Rajapaksa was clean bowled for 24 to leave the Sri Lankans in a pot of bother on 64-3.
The Scottish attack kept the pressure up and, at the end of the 13th over, Ranuda Somarathna was trapped LBW by Davidson to put the opponents on 78-5.
Sri Lanka skipper Dunith Wellalage then looked to calm things down and he and wicketkeeper Sakuna Liyanage took the score up to 99 before the former was out caught, the bowler being Rafay Khan.
The next partnership was the key one for Sri Lanka.
Liyanage and Raveen de Silva put on 77 runs to take their side up to 176 before de Silva was the seventh man out in the 37th over, Fischer-Keogh grabbing that scalp for 30.
The set batter Liyanage kept going along on his merry way and by the time he was out for 85 off 85 balls off the bowling of Fischer-Keogh his side were up to 204.
Scotland then took the last two wickets for just another 14 runs – Fischer-Keogh continuing his good day and a run out also occurring – as the Sri Lankans were restricted to 218 all out in the 46th over.
It really was a sterling effort by the Scots in the field, Greenock CC’s Fischer-Keogh leading the way with 3-56 and Jarvis taking 2-27, Davidson 2-50 and Khan 1-27.
Special mention must also go to Falkland’s Lyle Robertson who bowled a very tight eight overs including two maidens, finishing with 0-15 with 35 dots.
In reply, Scotland started steadily if unspectacularly when Tear was out LBW to Daniel for 17 to leave then 24-1 in the ninth over.
Sam Elstone then joined opener Davidson at the crease and they took the score on to 49 before Davidson was out LBW to Wellalage for 15.
When Elstone soon followed him back to the pavilion, falling to the same bowler, the Scots were stuttering a bit on 57-3 in the 24th over.
Tom Mackintosh was the next man to fall, Matheesha Pathirana trapping the danger man for 19 LBW and the team were 79-4.
Jarvis and Khan then put on 24 for the fifth wicket to get their side up and over the 100 mark before the latter was caught off the bowling of Wellalage for seven.
Robertson joined Jarvis at the crease and they then got the team up and over 150 and within 68 runs of victory.
However, when he was on 14 Robertson was caught by Daniel off Wanuja Sahan and it meant, at 151-6, the Scottish side needed the number of runs mentioned from just six overs and four balls.
Jarvis had to lead the way and he made it past the half century mark – including three fours and three sixes – before he perished to the man Wellalage who was having a great day.
That was 165-7 and, despite their best efforts, Christopher Cole, Charlie Peet and Fischer-Keogh all fell as the team were 178 all out in the 49th over.
Wellalage had been the chief destroyer with 5-27 in nine overs and although the Scots will have been disappointed to lose, there are plenty of positives to take forward into the rest of the competition.
Next up for the Scots is a match with the host nation on Monday (9am local time, 1pm GMT) at Warner Park, Basseterre.
In their opener on Friday, the West Indies lost to Australia by six wickets, 169 all out playing 170-4.