Bloemfontein (South Africa): Key batters Arshin Kulkarni and Musheer Khan came up with superb knocks as former champion India beat USA by 201 runs in their final group game of the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 here on Sunday.
A century for Kulkarni (108) and another fine knock from Musheer (73), who had struck a hundred earlier in the event, helped India put on a tall total against the USA before Naman Tiwari (4-20) led their bowling performance with a four-wicket haul in a 201-run win.
India continued their winning streak at the U19 Men’s CWC on the back of another impressive batting display in Bloemfontein.
Opener Arshin Kulkarni, who had missed out in the first couple of matches, made a brilliant hundred after the USA won the toss and put India in to bat.
USA struck with the wicket of Adarsh Singh soon after the Powerplay but struggled to break the stand between Kulkarni and Musheer Khan, the centurion from the previous game.
Musheer and Kulkarni went at a quick rate and India piled on a century stand to put the USA under pressure. The duo found boundaries with ease in the 155-run partnership that was only broken in the 36th over when Rishi Ramesh dismissed Musheer for 73.
Kulkarni raced to his hundred in the 41st over, taking 110 balls to reach the milestone. Meanwhile, at the other end, Uday Saharan stepped up the scoring rate, smashing 35 off 27 balls before slicing a slower ball from Arya Garg to point.
Kulkarni holed out in the next over, but with a few big hits in the next few overs, India finished with a strong total of 326/5 in 50 overs.
The bowlers responded to India’s batting effort with two quick wickets. Prannav Chettipalayam was bowled for two by Raj Limbani in the first over and Naman Tiwari cleaned up Bhavya Mehta in the next, to reduce USA to 2 for 2.
Tiwari went on to dismiss skipper Ramesh for eight and USA were reduced to 12/3 with a huge target in front of them. Utkarsha Srivastava and Amogh Arepally showed some fight, but India kept picking up wickets.
Tiwari had Srivastava and Manav Nayak dismissed in back-to-back overs to end with four wickets while Saumy Pandey kept things incredibly tight from his end. The left-arm spinner grabbed a wicket late in the game, but the highlight of his spell was that he conceded just 13 runs in 10 overs.
USA finished on 125 and India registered successive wins with a margin of over 200 runs to go through to the Super Six on a high.
India will now play New Zealand and Nepal in the Super Six stage at this very venue, the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein, on January 30 and February 2 respectively.
India 326/5 in 50 overs (Arshin Kulkarni 108, Musheer Khan 73, Uday Sharan 35; Ateendra Subramanian 2-45) beat USA 125/8 in 50 overs (Utkarsh Srivastava 40; Naman Tiwari 4-20) by 201 runs.