India Make Winning Start To U19 Title Defence

India Make Winning Start To U19 Title Defence
India Make Winning Start To U19 Title Defence
©International Cricket Council

India made a winning start to the defence of their ICC Under-19 World Cup title with a comprehensive eight-wicket win over tournament debutants Afghanistan.

The opening day of the tournament in New Zealand saw South Africa beat Ireland, Canada overcome Zimbabwe and Pakistan beat the West Indies.

Batting first against the reigning champions, Afghanistan were bowled out for 118 in 49.2 overs, receiving a tough baptism although Noor-ul-Haq, who made 61, stood out as the only batsman to pass 19 runs.

In reply, an unbeaten 51 from Mandeep Singh guided India home in just 25.2 overs.

Half-centuries from Ben Ackland (66) and Lee Nelson (55) weren't enough for Ireland to beat South Africa Their stand enabled Ireland to reach a score of 216 for six having been reduced to 36 for four early on but South Africa, runners-up in 2008, got home in 43.4 overs with Stephan Smith scoring an unbeaten 67.

The match of the day was between minnow Canada and Zimbabwe and the game went down to the wire before Canada won by just ten runs.

Usman Limbada stroked 90 for Canada as they posted 201 for seven but in reply, Zimbabwe could only reach 191 before being bowled out despite Dean Mazhawidza's 75. Zain Mahmood starred for Canada with three wickets.

Pakistan defeated the West Indies by 40 runs in the other match, Babar Azam scoring the first century of the competition with 129 out of his side's 297 for seven.

He faced 132 balls, hitting 14 fours and a six and although West Indian openers Kraigg Braithwaite (92) and Trevon Griffith (84) put on 120 for the first wicket, they were unable to continue in the same vein as Ahmed Shehzad picked up three for 43.

© Cricket World 2010