ICC U19 Cricket World Cup: India win as other matches rained off
Clinical India keep marching on while rain washes out two matches.
Yashasvi Jaiswal and Divyansh Saxena both hit half-centuries as India became the second team to end the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup group stage with a perfect record.
The defending champions saw off New Zealand by 44 runs in a rain-affected match to join West Indies with three wins from three ahead of the Super League.
Rain hit much of South Africa, forcing matches between Pakistan and Bangladesh and Afghanistan and Canada to be abandoned.
Afghanistan are now guaranteed a spot in the Super League and will go through as Group D winners, with either South Africa or United Arab Emirates joining them, while Bangladesh have topped Group C.
THE CHAMPIONS ARE STILL STANDING
Fifties by Yashasvi Jaiswal and Divyansh Saxena powered India with the bat before Ravi Bishnoi and Atharva Ankolekar shared seven wickets to help India book their ticket to the quarter-finals with a clinical 44-run DLS-win over New Zealand in Bloemfontein on Friday.
The only real menace the 2018 winners had to face in the Group A fixture at the Mangaung Oval was the weather after a brutal morning thunderstorm threatened their 100 percent record.
But after a five-hour delay, they produced a performance worthy of champions to make it three wins from three and secure a last-eight showdown with fellow cricketing powerhouse Australia in Potchefstroom next week.
“With the rain around we had to be mentally switched on, we were very happy with our performance, rain is part and parcel of the game, so it was a good result," India captain, Priyam Garg, said.
India were full value for their win – dominant with the bat and then ruthless with the ball through their twin spinners when it mattered most.
After losing the toss and being put in to bat, openers Jaiswal (57 off 77 balls) and Saxena (52 off 62 balls) drove them to 115 for none in 23 overs either side of that lengthy break.
The New Zealanders threatened to hunt down the revised target of 193 in 23 overs early on thanks to the tournament’s top run-scorer Rhys Mariu (42 off 31 balls) and Fergus Lellman (31 off 19 balls) heaving them to 83 for one in the ninth over.
But that was as good as it got for the Black Caps as the spinners then began to stamp their authority.
Ankolekar (three for 28) first accounted for the two set youngsters, before man-of-the-match Bishnoi (four for 30) ran through the lower order – his final wicket aided by a stunning catch from Akash Singh running in from the fence to dismiss dangerman Beckham Wheeler-Greenall for 13.
"It was good to have a game like today, to see how we handled pressure and we wanted to take opportunity, and happy with the way we reacted,” Garg added.
BANGLADESH END TOP AS RAIN WINS IN POTCH
Bangladesh finished top of the standings in Group C, as their final round-robin clash against Pakistan was declared a no result, thanks to Highveld showers in Potchefstroom.
The result, or lack thereof, meant that the young Tigers go into the Super League stage unbeaten, and will now look to be at their best for the business stage of the competition.
"We have five days before our next game, and we just need to sit down and work on a few things," coach Naveed Nawaz warned about their progress in the tournament.
“We need to assess conditions a bit better going forward, especially with the bat. The conditions in South Africa will always be helpful to bowlers, but we need to work a bit harder with the bat.”
In what play there was, Bangladesh were sent in to bat by Pakistan, who were coming off a testing win over Zimbabwe.
Their bowlers were again too loose when it came to leaking extras, with 18 wides bowled in the 25 overs before rain had the final say. In that time, Bangladesh had struggled to 106 for nine, in what they had hoped would be a 37-over a side game.
Amir Khan was the pick of the bowlers, with four for 30 in six lively overs with the new ball.
He reduced Bangladesh to 58 for four in the 12th over, before Abbas Afridi helped himself to three for 20 in seven tidy overs.
Tanzid Hasan made an entertaining 34 from 35 balls, in an interesting battle with Khan, who would eventually have the final say, trapping his man leg-before.
Avishek Das was the only other player to get to 20, as Pakistan kept the pressure on, searching for the win that would have given them top spot.
At 25 overs, however, the heavens opened once more and that was to be the end of play, on a frustrating day for both teams, who go through to the Super League with optimism.
"We have enjoyed our stay thus far, but the only problem has been the weather," Naveed said of his Bangladeshi charges.
"We had issues against Zimbabwe, and now this game has also been affected. Of course, it is out of everybody's control, so we just have to keep working hard."
AFGHANISTAN, CANADA MATCH WASHED OUT
The Afghanistan and Canada match was called off without a ball being bowled because of rain at the Ibbies Oval in Potchefstroom.
Match umpires, Anil Chaudhary and Rashid Riaz Waqar, called off the fixture an hour after its scheduled start because of persistent rain forecasted for the day and a heavily waterlogged outfield.
This means that Afghanistan will enter the Super League stages having topped their group with five points.
The side's best tournament finish was a semi-final spot in the 2018 edition in New Zealand.
For this year's edition, captain Farhan Zakhil has relied with some success on his two key bowlers in leg-spinners Shafiqullah Ghafari and Noor Ahmed.
The spinning duo have picked up 16 wickets between them in their two group fixtures against the hosts South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.
Their batting has proved to be strong point too when called upon with Ibrahim Zadran among the leading run scorers so far.
Canada, who lost their previous matches to the UAE and South Africa, finish at the bottom of the group but will play in the Plate League. They pick up a point from the washed-out fixture.
Scores in Brief
India Under 19s beat New Zealand Under 19s by 44 runs (DLS method), Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein
India 115-0, revised to 193, in 23 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 57 not out, Divyansh Saxena 52 not out; Adithya Ashok 0-7)
New Zealand 147 all out, 21 overs (Rhys Mariu 42, Fergus Lellman 31; Ravi Bishnoi 4-30, Atharva Ankolekar 3-28)
Bangladesh v Pakistan – no result, JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom.
Bangladesh 106-9, in 25 overs (Tanzid Hasan 34, Avishek Das 20; Amir Khan 4-30, Abbas Afridi 3-20)
Afghanistan v Canada – match abandoned without a ball being bowled, Ibbies Oval, Potchefstroom
ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 Fixtures
Group A fixtures: 25 January: Sri Lanka v Japan – North West University Oval, Potchefstroom
Group B fixtures: 25 January: England v Nigeria – Diamond Oval, Kimberley
Group C fixtures: 25 January: Zimbabwe v Scotland – Witrand Oval, Potchefstroom
Group D fixtures: 25 January: South Africa v United Arab Emirates – Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein
© Cricket World 2020