ICC U19 Cricket World Cup: Defending champions India knocked out after loss to England

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - FEBRUARY 22:  Matthew Fisher of England celebrates with teammates after dismissing Sanju Samson of India during the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2014 Quarter Final match between England and India at the Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium on February 22, 2014 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Francois Nel - IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

English players celebrating the wicket of Sanju Samson

The much awaited quarter final match between India and England in the under 19 World Cup was played today in Dubai. The match proved true to the expectations of millions, as it was a very close encounter. Many of the fans had rightful apprehensions about the effectiveness of the Indian bowling attack. The batting strength of team India has been substantially reliable in the tournament, but today our opening pair and few others could not contribute much with the bat.

Among the Indian batting line up, only Deepak Hooda (68), S N Khan (52) and the Indian captain Vijay Zol (48) were the contributors. India was able to reach a reasonable mark of 221 with a run rate of 4.42.

But in the end, the modest target set by team India became difficult to chase down for England. The England team had a good start and they were 30 for no loss. But then the wicets started falling on regular intervals. Their second wicket fell on 36, and third on 41 but then they had a wonderful partnership which took the score to 117.

Soon, their score became 6 for 148 as the middle order crumbled. From England’s point of view, only B Duckett and E Barnard could contribute 61 and 24 runs respectively. When things were moving in a favorable direction for India, Hooda dropped a crucial catch of Clarke off Gani Khan. If taken, this catch could have proved to be a game changer for India.

After 42 overs, the equation was open for both the teams as 48 runs were required from 48 balls, with four wickets in hand. But Indian bowlers could not continue the momentum and England clawed back into the game. Clarke was the hero for them as they chased down the target. India were knocked out of the tournament despite a great effort. Hats off to the Indian boys for their fighting spirit.

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