Centuries by skipper Vijay Zol and Sanju Samson helped India U-19 post a daunting total of 314 for eight against Pakistan U-19 in the U-19 Asia Cup Final at Sharjah on Saturday. It was a complete domination from the Indians started by a cameo from opener Ankush Bains (47) before Samson and Zol lit up the final with their knocks. A late flurry of wickets restricted India from scoring briskly in the last five overs.
Pakistan skipper Sami Aslam won the toss and invited India in to bat. His decision proved disastrous as his bowlers erred in their line and were taken apart by the openers especially against an aggressive Bains. Pacer Salman Saeed was guilty of spraying the balls and even conceded five wides in the second over of the match. Indians took full advantage of the situation racing up to 60 in the first six overs. Pakistan finally managed to get the breakthrough with the wicket of Akhil Herwadkar who was caught at mid-wicket to a well-connected shot off Zial-ul-Haq’s bowling. He scored 12 from 18 balls.
Bains continued his breezy innings until he was stumped off the bowling of leg-spinner Karamat Ali for 47. His 34-ball stay included seven boundaries and a six. The right-hander’s blazing innings had given India the perfect momentum to move ahead. Pakistan’s only chance to get back into the game was when India were down 85 for two. From thereon, it was an excellent display of batting from Samson and Zol who shared a to keep the Pakistan bowlers at bay.
While Zol played the role of an anchor from one end, Samson immediately go into the groove and started playing his strokes. India were consistently scoring at above six an over. The partnership dominated the Pakistan bowling and Zol soon completed his half-century in 73 balls. Samson was not far behind completing his fifty in just 45 balls.
One of the highlights of the partnership was they never let the momentum slip away. Every time a few overs passed by without any big hits, the do ensured they covered up by targeting one bowler. Salman Saeed turned out to be a liability even in the middle overs going for a few runs. Soon the partnership bulged beyond 100 and India were past 200 in the 33rd over. Three overs later, Zol and Samson attacked leg-spinner Karamat Ali picking 18 runs with two boundaries and a six.
Zol completed his century in 118 balls but departed soon after dismissed by Karamat Ali for 100 after a mistimed shot was caught by Zafar Gohar. The 180-run partnership in 172 deliveries had taken India to a strong position. Samson continued his attack smashing two more sixes against the leg-spinner. Samson completed his ton in 86 balls with eight boundaries and four sixes. Just like Zol, even Samson departed soon after his ton. India lost the plot in the process with attacking batsman Sarfaraz Khan run-out for five in the same over. Ricky Bhui (6), Deepak Hooda (13) and Aamir Gani (5) departed in a space of few overs.
India however managed to cross the 300-run mark comfortably. Though India are in a strong position, they will be happy to see the back of skipper Sami Aslam early who has been in great form.
India U-19 314 for 8 in 50 overs (Ankush Bains 47, Vijay Zol 100, Sanju Samson 100; Zafar Gohar 2 for 52, Zia-ul-Haq 2 for 56)vs Pakistan U-19.
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