Bloemfontein: Defending champions India beat 2020 U19 World Cup winners Bangladesh by 81 runs on a day where England and Pakistan were comfortable winners against Scotland and Afghanistan at the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup.
Bangladesh decided to field first and make most of the early assistance in Bloemfontein. Maruf Mridha was on song with the new ball, and troubled the India batters with his left-arm angle. He accounted for all-rounder Arshin Kulkarni and Musheer Khan early in the innings to give the young Tigers an early advantage.
Adarsh Singh and skipper Uday Saharan then put their foot down, and ensured that India went ahead at a brisk pace. The left-right combination worked to perfection as the duo added 116 runs for the third wicket, overseeing two-thirds of the second Powerplay. Adarsh (76) eventually fell while trying to loft Rizwan Chowdhury over mid-off, reports ICC.
Bangladesh were able to stem the flow of runs, and this resulted in another breakthrough, in the form of the set Saharan (64). Aravelly Avanish (23 from 17) starred with a cameo to add crucial runs in the death overs. Another brisk knock from Sachin Dhas (26 from 20) helped add some crucial runs to the India total. Maruf returned to garner two more wickets, and ensured that India were restricted to 251/7.
Bangladesh openers looked compact against India’s new ball pair. Even as Naman Tiwari struggled for control, Ashiqur Rahman Shibli and Jishan Alam added a brisk 38 for the first wicket. The Boys in Blue, finally, struck in the 8th over, when Alam tried to pierce a Raj Limbani delivery past the covers, but was brilliantly caught by Murugan Abhishek. Right after, India vice-captain Saumy Pandey made a sensational entry in his U19 World Cup debut, picking back-to-back wickets to rock the Bangladesh innings.
Kulkarni also joined the wicket-takers’ list by trapping Ahrar Amin (5) leg before wicket. A valiant fifth-wicket stand between Ariful Islam and Mohammad Shihab James rescued Bangladesh from dire straits. The duo batted patiently to bring the Young Tigers closer to their ask.
However, Ariful fell to Musheer Khan in the 35th over to give India the advantage. The Bangladesh innings unravelled thereafter. The left-arm spin of Saumy Pandey yielded four wickets, while Musheer ended with two scalps to his name.
England beat Scotland by 7 wickets in Potchefstroom
England skipper Ben McKinney called it right at the toss and opted to take the field, notably West Indies had taken the same call on this ground in their opening encounter of the tournament against South Africa yesterday.
Jamie Dunk’s solid start for Scotland was disrupted by Farhan Ahmed in the 10th over. Farhan picked two wickets in the same over to leave Scotland needing a rebuild. Skipper Owen Gould, came in at number four, and steadied the innings. Remaining positive in the consolidation of innings, Gould hit six boundaries which included a six, to help Scotland past 100.
However, led by vice-captain Luc Benkenstein, the England bowlers continued making inroads. Benkenstein accounted for Gould, who was cleaned up for 48. Having lost six wickets by the 36th over, Scotland had a big ask ahead of themselves.
Disciplined work from England ensured that Scotland couldn’t take off from there and they finished at a modest 174. Farhan and Benkenstein finished with three wickets apiece.
Jadyn Denly and skipper McKinney got England off to the perfect start in the second innings. Switching between caution and intent, they made the most of scoring opportunities and added 68 runs in the first Powerplay.
McKinney took charge between overs 11-14, hitting five boundaries including two sixes, to give England the edge.
Denly fell while trying to pierce the covers in the 16th over. However, by then England were merely 69 runs away from their ask. McKinney’s attacking play kept his team on track. Hegde dismissed him for 88, but vice-captain Benkenstein and Hamza Shaikh finished the game in the 27th over.
Pakistan beat Afghanistan by 181 runs in East London
Pakistan skipper Saad Baig won the toss and opted to bat first in East London. The Pakistan openers were patient against the new-ball pairing of Bashir Ahmad and Allah Mohammad Ghanzafar. However, the early good work was undone by Khalil Ahmed. The pacer picked two wickets in his first two overs, including Shamyl Hossain (17) and Azan Awais (5). Captain Baig counter-attacked at number four, particularly taking on the Afghanistan spinners, hitting four sixes during his stay.
He was eventually cleaned up by a beauty from Ghanzafar in the 28th over. Ahmed Hussain fell soon after, as Pakistan’s scoring rate was stifled over the next few overs. However, around the 35th over mark, Shahzaib Khan and Muhammad Riazullah played a number of attacking shots to get Pakistan back in the game. They finished the second Powerplay with a four and began the last stretch with a flurry of big strokes. By the time Riazullah fell, the duo had added 84 at run-a-ball.
Shahzaib’s aggression bore results for the Boys in Green. He reached his hundred in the 48th over, while Pakistan added 84 runs in the last 10.
Pakistan pacers were right on mark with the new ball. Wafiullah Tarakhil (0) and Jamshid Zadran (1) fell to Amir Hassan and Ubaid Shah respectively, even as Afghanistan stood at 2/2. Hassan Eisakhil steadied Afghanistan along with Sohail Khan Zurmati. The duo hit six boundaries in the first Powerplay, to keep Afghanistan’s run rate closer to four. Ubaid struck once more in the 10th over, to leave Pakistan in a strong position.
Disciplined bowling from the Pakistan pacers ensured that wickets fell at regular intervals. Ahmad Hassan cleaned up Zurmati with a slower one, the giant Mohammad Zeeshan caught a near-perfect length and brought about the downfall of the Afghanistan lower-order by sticking to that area. Afghanistan were skittled out for merely 103.