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India set up semis clash with Pakistan with thumping win

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NEW DELHI: India registered a thumping 131-run win over Bangladesh in the quarter-final match of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2018 played at the Queenstown Events Centre, Queenstown on Friday. After posting a competitive total of 265, India bowled out Bangladesh for 134 in 42.1 overs with Kamlesh Nagarkoti taking three for 18. With this win, India booked their semi-final spot and also a mouth-watering clash against arch-rivals Pakistan on Tuesday, 30th January in Christchurch.

Pakistan had beaten South Africa in the quarters. The other semi-final will be played between Afghanistan and Australia.

After winning the toss, Indian skipper Prithvi Shaw had no hesitation in batting first, on a track on which Australia had managed to defend a total of 127 against Australia. With batting not as easy as in Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui, where India played all their league games, the Indian top-order was tested for the first time in the competition.

But despite that, the Indian-middle order did well to help their team put up a fighting total. Vice-captain Shubman Gill was once again in the thick of runs scoring his third consecutive fifty plus score with a well-compiled 86 off 94 deliveries. Shaw scored 40 at the top while allrounder Abhishek Sharma chipped in with 50 off 49 deliveries late in the innings.

Shaw was cautious at first, while Gill took on the role of the aggressor and despite Bangladesh bowlers maintaining a disciplined line, India managed 71 in the first 10 overs. But when it looked Shaw would up the ante, medium-pacer Qazi Onik produced a peach of a delivery to get rid of the Indian skipper. Qazi rolled his fingers over and the length ball zipped away after pitching and even though Shaw got an edge, the ball crashed on to the off stump. Harvik Desai, the wicket-keeper batsman then steady the ship for India with a 48-ball 34. He, along with Gill put on 74 runs for the fourth wicket in 98 deliveries as Bangladesh spinners curtailed the run flow in the middle-overs.

Gill consolidated in the middle and rotated the strike well. He was strong square of the wicket and played the full-length deliveries through the V. However, Bangladesh pulled things back. From a healthy 176 for 2, India slumped to 239 for 7. Desai was castled by Nayeem while Gill departed soon after nicking one to wicketkeeper Mahidul Islam. Abhishek then stepped up to the plate. He first settled in with Riyan Parag (15) and then accelerated when wickets started falling around him. He fell to Hasan Mahmud and three balls later India were all out for 265.

Back on to defend the total, the Indian pace attack faced tough resistance from the Bangladeshi openers. But both batsmen – Pinak Ghosh and Mohammad Naim – were bogged down and could only add 23 runs in 8.4 overs before Shivam Mavi provided India the first breakthrough with the wicket of Naim. Bangladesh lost wickets at regular intervals and failed to stitch together any kind of partnerships. Bangladesh lost Saif Hassan as he was beaten for pace from Nagarkoti and edge one to slips where Abhishek Sharma took first for three catches in the match.

Opener Pinak Ghosh played out 75 deliveries for his 43, put perished trying to break the shackles and handed left-arm spinner Anukul Roy his only wicket in the match when he went for wild slog, only to mistime it to short third man.

And once the spinners came on to bowl, the runs dried up with Abhishek, Anukul and Shiva Singh giving away nothing. The pressure of the asking rate built on Bangladesh batsman and in a bid to score, they went for tight singles only to be denied by India’s superlative effort in the field. Mavi with a direct hit from point got rid of Towhid Hridoy while Nagarkoti flew himself around with a pick and throw to see the back of Aminul Islam. Abhishek finished with two for 11 in his five while Anukul claimed one for 14 in his five. Nagarkoti finished off the proceedings knocking over Hasan Mahmud’s off stump.

Brief Scores: India 265 (Subhman Gill 86, Abhishek Sharma 50; Qazi Onik 3/48) beat Bangladesh 134 (Pinak Ghosh 43; Kamlesh Nagarkoti 3/18) by 131 runs

Updated: January 26, 2018 — 4:44 am

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