An impressive batting performance, topped by disciplined bowling, saw defending champions India cruise to a 90-run victory over Sri Lanka in their opening group A encounter of the ICC Under 19 World Cup in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
Batting first, India scored a competitive 297/4, riding on half-centuries from their premier batsmen – opener Yashasvi Jaiswal (59 off 74 balls), skipper Priyam Garg (56 off 72 balls) and vice-captain Dhruv Jurel (52 off 48 balls).
The player of the match was the late entrant to the squad: all-rounder Siddhesh Veer made 44 off 27 balls to propel the team to a big total and then took 2/34 in 6 overs while bowling.
Once a target close to 300 was set, the bowlers then kept the Lankan batsmen under check, dismissing them for 207 in 45.2 overs.
Fast bowler Kartik Tyagi (1/27 in 7.2 overs), who already has a multi-crore IPL contract, was the impressive as he time and again breached the 140kmph mark. The opposition batsmen found his short ball difficult to handle.
Leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi (2/44 in 10 overs), who will be seen donning Kings XI Punjab colours in the IPL, showed good control, not letting the batsmen get away with anything.
Left-arm seamer Akash Singh (2/29 in 9 overs) was also impressive while for Sri Lanka skipper Nipun Dananjaya (50) was the only batsman who looked comfortable out there in the middle.
It was a total team effort by the Indian side.
Collective batting effort
“I would rate this performance 9 out of 10 although we could have scored 320. But I am happy with the overall show from the boys,” skipper Garg said after the match.
The track was a bit on the slower side as Jaiswal and Divyansh Saxena (23) put on 66 for the opening stand.
Jaiswal punished the loose balls with some elegant drives, hitting eight fours.
There were significant partnerships throughout the innings that kept the momentum going. India’s most consistent batsman NT Tilak Verma (46 off 53 balls) ran hard between the wickets adding 46 with Jaiswal before the former was dismissed.
Skipper Garg, the most experienced first-class player in the tournament along with Tilak, added a run-a-ball 59.
Garg, who had three boundaries, was joined by Jurel for a 63-run stand for the fourth wicket that took the score to 232.
But credit goes to Veer, who used the long handle to good effect in a 65-run stand in 7.2 overs with Jurel.
Veer hit six fours and a six in an effort that had cheeky scoops and sweep shots as well.
With the ball, India never let Sri Lanka off the hook and eventually the required run rate proved too much for the Lankans, who lost wickets in a heap at the back end of their innings.
Brief Scores: India Under 19 297/4 (Yashasvi Jaiswal 59, Priyam Garg 56; Ashian Daniel 1/39) beat Sri Lanka Under 19 207 all out (Nipun Dananjaya 50, Ravindu Rasantha 49; Akash Singh 2/29) by 90 runs