A dominating all-round display from India helped them register a thumping 144-run victory over Sri Lanka in the final of the U-19 Asia Cup at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on Sunday. This was India Colts’ fourth Asian Cricket Council U-19 Asia Cup title in five editions.After winning the toss, stand-in captain Prabhsimran Singh had no hesitation is electing to bat on the flat deck. And the decision was vindicated early by Yashasvi Jaiswal and Anuj Rawat who scored without being troubled by the Sri Lankan bowlers. The pair added 121 runs for the opening wicket before Rawat was dismissed by slow left-arm spinner Dulith Wellalage LBW after brining up his half-century. A solid stand between Jaiswal and Devdutt Padikkal was followed by quick dismissals of the southpaws.
Sri Lanka would have hoped to restrict the opposition to a sub-par target by applying pressure to the middle order but Ayush Badoni and Prabhsimran had other ideas. The duo smashed an incredible 113 runs in the last 10 overs, with the latter scoring an unbeaten 65 from 37 balls. However, it was Badoni at the other end that did the maximum damage in the final stage of the Indian innings, clobbering five sixes on his way to an unbeaten half-century. The former champions finished on 304 for 3 at the end of their 50 overs.
The chase was always going to be difficult for the Lankan batsmen, with 209 in the semi-final against Afghanistan being their highest score previously in the tournament. The Indian fast bowling pair of Mohit Jangra and Rajesh Mohanty were consistent in the first five overs. Jangra gave India the first wicket of the night, with Nipun Perera hitting a wide full delivery straight to the cover fielder Anuj Rawat.
However, it was left-arm spinner Harsh Tyagi who was the star in the second innings. The 18-year-old picked up six wickets in his spell, conceding just 38 runs in his 10 overs. He started off with the wicket of Pasindu Sooriyabandara, who tried to break the shackles with a big hit but failed to clear the boundary. Post the second wicket, the rest of the batting order fell like a pack of cards as the remaining eight Sri Lankan wickets fell for just 94 runs, with Tyagi picking up five of them.
Navod Paranavithana played the lone warrior for the Lankan side in the run-chase but his vigil came to an end when he tried to lap sweep a full delivery of Siddharth Desai but completely missed the ball and was adjudged LBW. Sri Lanka were eventually bowled out for 160.
Harsh Tyagi was awarded the Player of the Match Award for his spell. Speaking at the post match presentation, the youngster said that the wicket was quite helpful in the second innings for the bowlers. “It was quite helpful for the spinners. I stuck to the basics and I was planning with the captain. The last match was good for the spinners. The coaches helped us and the video analysts also helped us a lot. It is always a great opportunity to play here, it’s a pleasure to play.”
Pawan Shah, who is the captain of the side but had to sit out in the final due to injury said that he was disappointed for not being able to play but was happy that the side won. “Yes, unfortunately I missed out due to an injury but I am happy because my team won. It was a very well organised by ACC and I am glad we emerged out victorious.”
First Published: October 7, 2018, 7:47 PM IST