India skipper Abhishek Sharma was the pick of the bowlers for his team © Getty Images (Representational Image)
India skipper Abhishek Sharma was the pick of the bowlers for his team © Getty Images (Representational Image)

Indian skipper Abhishek Sharma led from the front as he helped his side register a 32-run win against Sri Lanka at the R Premadas Stadium, Colombo to win their third straight ACC Asia Cup Under-19 title. Abhishek finished with figures of 4 for 37 in his 10 overs and completely turned the match around from a position where Sri Lanka looked set to win the game. There were a couple of useful contributions with the bat from the Sri Lankan camp. Opener Reven Kelly scored a patient 62 to put his side in a good position initially, but after he was dismissed in the 31st over, Sri Lanka completely lost their way.

From 196 for 3 in the 38th over, they were eventually bowled out for 239, much to the disappointment of their fans. Leg-spinner Rahul Chahar finished with 3 for 22. His excellent catch off his own bowling to dismiss Krishan Arachchige lifted the spirits of the entire Indian team. India did not look back from there and went on to win the match with ease eventually. Sri Lanka started off well, but lost Vishva Chathuranga early for 13. However the second wicket stand between Kelly and Hasitha Boyagoda set the tone for the innings. They put on 78 in quick time and Sri Lanka were ahead of the required run rate at this stage.

Full Updates: India vs Sri Lanka ACC Under-19 Asia Cup 2016 Final at Colombo

Kelly and Mendis too added a half century stand for the third wicket, but that is as good as it got for Sri Lanka. They kept losing wickets at regular intervals from a position of command – very similar to the Indian innings – and fell well short of the target in the end. Had one of the top 4 batsman stayed till the end, Sri Lanka would have won the game. The ball started to turn a lot as the innings progressed and as a result, Chahar and Abhishek were instrumental in bringing India back into the game.

In the first innings, Himanshu Rana and Shubman Gill scored fifties to help India post 273 for 8 in their 50 overs. Praveen Jayawickrama continued his excellent form in the tournament picking up 3 for 53. He was well supported by fast bowler Nipun Ransika, who had figures of 3 for 50. Earlier, India had won the toss and elected to bat first.

Brief Scores:

India U-19 273 for 8 in 50 overs (Himanshu Rana 71, Shubman Gill 70; Nipun Ransika 3 for 50, Praveen Jayawickrama 3 for 53) beat Sri Lanka U-19 239 in 48.4 overs (Reven Kelly 62, Kamindu Mendis 53; Rahul Chahar 3 for 22, Abhishek Sharma 4 for 37) by 34 runs.

Man of the match: Abhishek Sharma

Man of the series: Himanshu Rana