Sydney University has advanced to the semi-finals of the Red Bull Campus Cricket tournament in Sri Lanka, where it meets the home team, and competition favourites, at Galle this afternoon.
Sri Lanka's Business Management School won all three of its Group B matches earlier this week. Every member of the BMS team is an experienced domestic first-class cricketer, and orthodox left arm spinner Amila Aponso has represented Sri Lanka in 6 One Day Internationals. He made his international debut against Australia at Colombo in August last year, when he bowled his ten overs for only 27 runs and dismissed the dangerous Aaron Finch. In his three Red Bull finals matches, he has captured five wickets while allowing only 43 runs from his eleven overs. Opening bowler Chamika Karunaratne, who has also shown good form, has represented Sri Lanka at Under-23 and A team level.
On paper, Sydney University may not appear as strong as the home side, but the team has improved steadily through the competition and has the benefit of having come through the tougher side of the draw. Hayden Kerr's blistering 73 against South Africa was the highest individual score by any player in the preliminary rounds, and Dugald Holloway, Joe Kershaw and Kieran Elley have formed the competition's most hostile pace attack. Every member of the Sydney University side has made a telling contribution at some stage during the preliminary rounds.
Galle International Stadium is one of the most scenic and striking Test grounds anywhere in the world. It's a fitting setting for what promises to be an enthralling match.
You can follow the semi-final (scores and streaming) live here later this evening: http://www.batsman.com/Red_Bull_Cricket.aspx