Kuldeep Yadav was pick of the bowlers for India bagging three wickets © Getty Images (File Photo)
Jan 4, 2014
India U-19 successfully defended their title with a 40-run win over Pakistan U-19 in the U-19 Asia Cup at Sharjah on Saturday. Chasing a target of 315, Pakistan managed 274 for nine in their 50 overs. It was a disciplined performance from India with the batsmen leading the charge. Skipper Vijay Zol (100) and Sanju Samson (100) scored centuries to put up a challenging target for the opposition.
For Pakistan, their skipper Sami Aslam (87) and Kamran Ghulam (102 not out) were the only batsmen to make an impact in the chase. Their partnership of 93 runs was the only stage where the team was in hunt to surpass the huge total.
The Indian bowlers started off on a tidy note unlike their Pakistan counterparts. They restricted the flow of runs initially. India managed to find the first breakthrough when Chama Milind dismissed Mohammad Umair off his own bowling. Aslam along with No 3 batsman Imam-ul-Haq moved at a sedate pace. The required rate in the meanwhile was creeping up. Disaster struck when Imam was dismissed by Kuldeep Yadav for 18. In the next two overs, India secured the wickets of Hasan Raza (1) and Saifullah Khan (3).
Aslam and Ghulam then started the recovery process and from 88 for four, they lifted the team with a 93-run partnership. They were watchful at the start but eventually showed some urgency in the chase. It appeared like a seesaw battle when Aamir Gani struck bagging the key wicket of Aslam for 87. With the form, the Pakistan skipper was in, it was essential for India to get the better of him.
By the time Aslam departed, Ghulam had settled down and took charge of the chase. In the 39th over, Ghulam played some improvised shots to keep earn some boundaries. But his new partner Saud Shakeel too tried to go after Kuldeep Yadav and was caught for just eight runs. Zafar Gohar then supported Ghulam but the required rate had already gone beyond 10. Zafar was bowled by Milind for 18.
Batting with the tail, Ghulam managed to score a century in the last over of the match.
Earlier, India were put in to bat by Pakistan after winning the toss. India got off to a rollicking start through Ankush Bains. Zol and Samson shared a crucial 180-run stand to propel India to a huge score. Zol hit seven fours and two sixes, while Samson was more aggressive hitting eight fours and four sixes. India could have scored a few more in the death overs if they had not lost a flurry of wickets towards the end.
India had started their campaign against UAE with a convincing 189-run win and then cruised to victory against Nepal before losing to Pakistan by two wickets in their third match. In the semi-final, India defeated Sri Lanka to setup a title clash with their arch-rivals. The last time these two clashed in an Asia Cup final was in 2012 when the match ended in a tie. With this title finish, the Indians will be favourites to win the U-19 World Cup in February 2014.
India U-19 314 for 8 in 50 overs (Ankush Bains 47, Vijay Zol 100, Sanju Samson 100; Zia-ul-Haq 2 for 56, Zafar Gohar 2 for 56) beat Pakistan U-19 274 for 9 in 50 overs(Sami Aslam 87, Kamran Ghulam 102*; Kuldeep Yadav 3 for 72) by 40 runs.