India are strong favourites to beat hosts Sri Lanka in the final © Getty Images (Representative Image)
India are strong favourites to beat hosts Sri Lanka in the final © Getty Images (Representative Image)

India take on hosts Sri Lanka in the final of the ACC Under-19 Asia Cup 2016 at R Premadasa Stadium at Colombo. Defending champions India beat Afghanistan in the semi-final by 77 runs to make it to the final. Himanshu Rana scored an excellent century in that match, which helped India post a total of 294. Sri Lanka on the other hand, beat Bangladesh by 26 runs (D/L) on Wednesday make it to the final of the tournament. Chasing 195 for a win, rain played spoilsport when Sri Lanka were in cruise control at 106 for 2 in 26.1 overs. Vishva Chathuranga top-scored for Sri Lanka with 68, while left-arm spinners Praveen Jayawickrama and Hareen Weerasingha picked up seven wickets between them to dismantle Bangladesh.

India have been unbeaten throughout this tournament. Incidentally, Sri Lanka’s only loss in the tournament came against India in their final group stage match. They lost the match by six wickets after setting India a 208-run target. Shubman Gill top scored in that match with a 79-ball 78. As a result, India topped Group A with 15 points from 3 matches, while Sri Lanka finished runners-up with 9 points from their 3 matches.

Besides that defeat at the hands of India, Sri Lanka beat Nepal by a run and followed that up with a comfortable 8-wicket win over Malaysia in their next game. India have been dominant throughout this tournament and never seemed like being in a situation where they could lose any match in the tournament. They thrashed Malaysia by 235 runs in their opening fixture, bundling their opposition out for just 54. India then followed it up with a couple of 6-wicket wins, first over Nepal and then against Sri Lanka.

India and Pakistan shared the title in 2012, but it was India, who triumphed over their arch-rivals when the teams played in the final in 2013-14. At this rate, India are firm favourites to win the tournament again, but they cannot underestimate this Sri Lankan side especially in their own backyard.

Teams

India:  Abhishek Sharma (c), Himanshu Rana, Shubman Gill, Rahul Chahar, Harvik Desai, Priyam Garg, Ayush Jamwal, Salman Khan, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Het Patel (wk), Prithvi Shaw, Shiva Singh, Yash Thakur, Heramb Parab, Anand Tiwari

Sri Lanka: Kamindu Mendis (c), Sanjula Abeywickreme, Ashen Bandara, Hasitha Boyagoda, Vishva Chathuranga (wk), Jehan Daniel, Praveen Jayawickrama, Thilan Prasan, Nipun Ransika, Lasith Croospulle, Wanitha Wanninayaka, Hareen Weerasingha, Reven Kelly, Dilshan Gamage

TIME: 09.00 GMT | 14.30 IST