ICC U19 World Cup: Wins for India and Pakistan
Defending champions India got their ICC U19 Cricket World Cup title defence off to a perfect start with an impressive 90-run win over Sri Lanka in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Siddhesh Veer was the standout as his unbeaten 44 off 27 balls helped set a challenging target of 297 for four, before he was one of three Indian bowlers to take two wickets as Sri Lanka were dismissed for 207.
Victory sends India straight to the top of Group A in what they will hope is the start of a successful quest to claim a record-extending fifth ICC U19 Cricket World Cup title.
In Sunday’s other game, two-time champions Pakistan made short work of Scotland as their fast bowlers skittled the opposition for 75 – a target they then chased down inside 12 overs.
India seal big win in style
An impressive all-round display meant India were comfortable victors in their opening Group A match on Sunday, securing a 90-run triumph against Sri Lanka in Bloemfontein.
Half-centuries from Yashasvi Jaiswal, captain Priyam Garg and Dhruv Jurel helped India post a commanding 297 for four, before two wickets apiece from Akash Singh, Siddhesh Veer and Ravi Bishnoi proved crucial in dismissing their sub-continent compatriots for 207.
India lost the toss and were asked to bat first at the Mangaung Oval, with their openers setting the ideal platform as Jaiswal and Divyansh Saxena (23) combined for a 66-run partnership.
The highly-rated Jaiswal went onto record an impressive 59 off 74 balls, including eight fours, after finding another partner in Tilak Varma (46).
After Jaiswal was caught behind, Varma then teamed up with Garg, to put on 59 runs for the third wicket.
The latter raised his bat for a measured 56 off 72 balls to continue the defending champions’ impressive outing.
India then had Jurel’s undefeated 56 off 48 balls and Veer’s thrilling cameo of 44 off 27 deliveries (six fours, one six) to thank as they ended with a dominant total of 297 following the pair’s 63-run stand.
In the second innings, Sri Lanka needed a good start from their top order and Kamil Mishara (39) and Ravindu Rasantha (49) obliged with an 87-run, second-wicket partnership before Jaiswal (one for 18) made the breakthrough to leave them 106 for two.
Sensing a momentum shift in the game, India pressed on with the ball to take wickets at regular intervals, despite a battling 50 off 59 balls from young Lions captain, Nipun Perera.
Veer (two for 34) along with Kartik Tyagi (one for 27), Singh (two for 29) and Bishnoi (two for 44) picked up six middle and lower-order scalps, along with a run out, for just 94 runs to bowl out their opponents with 4.4 overs to spare.
Player of the match, India’s Veer, said: “I was really happy with my performance, the shots I played came off which helped me with my innings. It was a good start for the team and we are happy.”
Pakistan quicks dismantle Scotland in Group C opener
Pakistan's menacing pace attack proved too strong for Scotland, paving the way for a convincing seven-wicket victory in Group C.
Scotland won the toss and elected to bat but were bowled out for just 75 in 23.5 overs, as Pakistan seamers Muhammad Waseem (five for 12), Tahir Hussain (three for 23) and Abbas Afridi (two for 32) tore through their batting order.
After an early scare, Pakistan then reached the required target off just 11.4 overs for the loss of three wickets.
The 2004 and 2006 champions proved that their bowling attack – which also includes highly-rated spinner Aamir Ali – could be their strongest weapon in this year’s tournament.
Uzzair Shah (20) and Tomas Mackintosh (17) top scored for Scotland and were the only batsmen to reach double figures in the innings, as the Scots failed to build any meaningful partnerships.
In chasing the total, Pakistan lost two early wickets but captain Rohail Nazir (27 from 23 balls) steadied the chase and Irfan Khan (38 not out) then picked up the mantle once Rohail was clean bowled by Kess Sajjad to record a comprehensive win.
After the match, Pakistan captain Rohail said: "We are happy that our bowlers did a great job. Hopefully, we can continue with this same intensity heading to the next match."
And player of the match Waseem added: "Tahir and Abbas gave us a good start with the ball. I came in and tried to bowl yorkers and bouncers; which is what brought me success."
Pakistan next face Zimbabwe on Wednesday with Scotland playing Bangladesh on Tuesday – both fixtures in Potchefstroom.
Scores in Brief
India Under 19s beat Sri Lanka Under 19s by 90 runs, Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein
India 297-4, 50 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 59, Priyam Garg 56; Ashian Daniel 1-39, Amshi Oren 1-40)
Sri Lanka 207, 45.2 overs (Nipun Perera 50, Ravindu Rasantha 49; Akash Singh 2-29, Siddhesh Veer 2-34)
Pakistan Under 19s beat Scotland Under 19s by seven wickets, North West University Oval, Potchefstroom
Scotland 75, 23.5 overs (Uzzair Shah 20, Tomas Mackintosh 17; Muhammad Waseem 5-12, Tahir Hussain 3-23)
Pakistan 77-3, 11.4 overs (Irfan Khan 38 not out, Rohail Nazir 27; Liam Naylor 1-12)
ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 Fixtures
Group A Fixtures: 21 January: India v Japan – Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein; 22 January: New Zealand v Sri Lanka – Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein; 24 January: India v New Zealand – Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein; 25 January: Sri Lanka v Japan – North West University Oval, Potchefstroom
Group B Fixtures: 20 January: England v West Indies – Diamond Oval, Kimberley; 20 January: Australia v Nigeria – Country Club B Field, Kimberley; 23 January: Australia v England – Diamond Oval, Kimberley; 23 January: West Indies v Nigeria – Country B Club Field, Kimberley; 25 January: England v Nigeria – Diamond Oval, Kimberley
Group C fixtures: 21 January: Bangladesh v Scotland – Witrand Oval, Potchefstroom; 22 January: Pakistan v Zimbabwe – Witrand Oval, Potchefstroom; 24 January: Pakistan v Bangladesh – JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom; 25 January: Zimbabwe v Scotland – Witrand Oval, Potchefstroom
Group D fixtures: 22 January: Afghanistan v United Arab Emirates – North West University Oval, Potchefstroom; 22 January: South Africa v Canada – JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom; 24 January: Afghanistan v Canada – Ibbies Oval, Potchefstroom; 25 January: South Africa v United Arab Emirates – Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein
© Cricket World 2020