U-19 World Cup: A perfect opening statement : The Tribune India

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U-19 World Cup: A perfect opening statement

Saumy Kumar Pandey, Musheer Khan shine as India outclass Bangladesh in opener

U-19 World Cup: A perfect opening statement

Saumy Pandey was the pick of the bowlers for India with four wickets. ICC


Bloemfontein, January 20

Left-arm spinners Saumy Kumar Pandey and Musheer Khan headlined a dominant Indian performance as the defending champions outclassed Bangladesh by 84 runs in their opening game of the ICC U-19 World Cup here today.

Uday Sharan and Adarsh Singh (right) shone with the bat. ICC

While the total of 251/7 didn’t look big, the two Indian spinners choked the flow of runs, dismissing Bangladesh for a meagre 167 in 45.5 overs.

Skipper Uday Saharan (64 off 94 balls) and left-handed opener Adarsh Singh (76 off 96 balls) hit half-centuries after Bangladesh invited the holders to bat first.

Saumy (4/24) was economical and bowled the lethal arm ball with a skiddy action, while all-rounder Musheer (2/35) tossed it up and got enough drift to tighten the noose around Bangladesh’s batters. Musheer, younger brother of Mumbai’s domestic stalwart Sarfaraz Khan, was a livewire on the field. He also effected a run out.

Arshin Kulkarni celebrates dismissing Ahrar Amin. ICC

What was impressive to see was no overt celebrations from either Saumy or Musheer, who carried on their job like thoroughbred professionals. It was a fairly ill-tempered match with players from both sides indulging in sledging as the two teams have history of tension across the senior men, senior women and U-19 level.

Expected some movement early on, idea was to play every ball on its merit. When we lost two wickets early, the chat with Uday was to not try something big. Boundaries are big here so we just wanted to rotate strike. Adarsh Singh, player of the match

For the Indian team, it was a sweet revenge after losing their Asia Cup semifinal to Bangladesh.

While the Indian batters found it difficult to get boundaries, the target was never below-par as average score of teams batting first in U-19 ODIs at this ground was 201, and the highest successful chase being 243.

In fact, India’s 251/7 on the day was the third-highest score at this ground.

The team’s designated finisher Sachin Dhas showed admirable technique and temperament during death overs with an unbeaten cameo of 26 off 20 balls that took the score past the 250-run mark. The pulled six off seamer Rohanat Doullah Borson was a treat for the eyes.

This, despite allowing Bangladesh’s bowlers to bowl dot balls worth 26 overs during their innings.

Left-arm seamer Maruf Mridha (5/43) troubled India at the start and during slog overs by bowling in right areas but would be a bit miffed with his skipper, who got his calculations wrong and didn’t let him complete his quota of 10 overs.

Possessing a skiddy action like Mustafizur Rahaman, Maruf varied his lengths, bowled closer to stumps at the start and mixed cutters with wide yorkers.

Brief scores: India: 251/7(Adarsh 76, Uday 64; Maruf 5/43); Bangladesh: 167 all out (James 54, Ariful 41; Saumy 4/24, Musheer 2/35).


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