India Under-19s defeated Sri Lanka Under-19s by 3 wickets to clinch their birth in the finals of the ongoing Asian Cricket Council Under-19s Asia Cup.
Earlier, Pakistan Under-19s defeated Afghanistan Under-19s in the other semi-final by 2 wickets to book their birth in the finals.
India play Pakistan in the FINAL on 4th of January at Sharjah, Dubai.
AK Bains was India’s star of the show as he struck 54 runs from 53 balls, while hanging in there for 48.1 overs while India lost wickets on the other end at regular intervals. Bains was also awarded the Man of the Match award for his heroics.
India won the toss and chose to field, in what looked like a good decision by Indian captain Bains. India got the first breakthrough in the 4th over with just 9 runs on the board, Avesh Khan getting the wicket of S Samarawickrama. H Dumindu and K Mendis were involved in a strong 94 run stand for the 2nd wicket, before Mendis departed for a well paced 54.
Indian bowlers kept taking wickets at regular intervals, getting M Bhanuka soon after the fall of Mendis. Dumindu was involved in another steady partnership with PARP Perera adding 57 runs for the 4th wicket. Dumindu was then cleaned by Kuldeep Yadav and the Lankan’s lost their way from their, losing 4 wickest in the space of 31 runs. PARP Perera , SANJ Fernando and B Fernando chipped in with crucial knocks to set a stiff target of 223 for india.
Kuldeep Yadav was the pick of the bowlers for India after he picked up 3 wickets for 49 runs. India went of to a good start thanks to AK Bains and AA Herwadkar who made 54 and 27 respectively. PK Bhui and others chipped in with vital knocks to guide India past the line. With India losing wickets at regular intervals the result was in doubt at times, but Bains hung on from one end to ensure a victory. Kuldeep Yadav scored the winning runs for India with 5 balls to spare.
B Fernando was the pick of the bowlers for Sri Lanka as he bowled with a good economy rate picking up a solitary wicket. Detailed scorecard here.
Meanwhile, in the other semi-finals; Pakistan Under-19s won by 2 wickets and did so with 10 balls remaining against Afghanistan. Afghanistan, who won the toss and chose to bat, were off to a decent start until they lost 4 wickets in the space of 27 runs.
Hashmatullah Shaidi scored 51 of 91 balls to steady the ship with Waheedullah Shafaq who scored 48 studded with 2 fours and a six. Openers Shahidullah and Ihsanullah had starts but couldn’t carry on. Spinner Karamat Ali took 5 wickets for 33 runs and was the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan.
The run chase was supposed to be straightforward but it was anything but that as Pakistan lost their 1st wicket with only 4 runs on the board. However Sami Aslam and Imam-ul-haq forged a 107 run partnership to dent the hopes of the Afghanistan players. But as things were looking easy Pakistan lost quick wickets and let Afghanistan into the game. In the end Hussain Talat and Hasan Raza’s knocks were enough to carry Pakistan over the line.
Detailed scorecard here.
Pakistan now face India in the Under-19s Asia Cup Final, which promises to be a thriller!
Keep watching this space for updates on the big final.