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ICC U-19 World Cup: India sail into final with 97-run victory over Sri Lanka

If India win the final then they will become the most successful team in the history of the tournament.

Indian team celebrate the first Lankan wicket

The India U-19 juggernaut rolled into the World Cup final on the back of an authoritative 97-run win over Sri Lanka U19 on Tuesday at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka. The team came up with yet another superlative performance, with all members of the team chipping in with crucial contributions.

India, who were sent in to bat first, looked slightly shaky in the beginning, faced with Lankan seam bowling. Anmolpreet Singh and Sarfaraz Khan rescued the innings from a precarious position.

Man of the moment Sarfaraz Khan scored 59, his fourth half-century of the tournament, but failed to reach three figures again. In the process, he also became the highest scorer for India in U19 World Cups, beating Shikhar Dhawan’s record of 505 runs. He also completed 1000 runs in youth ODIs, only the 18th batsman to do so.

The Man of the Match award was given to Anmolpreet Singh, who came up with a valuable performance when faced with pressure. Even after Sarfaraz’s dismissal, Anmolpreet, who has a touch of Manish Pandey about his batting, carried on his stay at the crease. His 72 off 92 balls gave direction to the batting, and put the final score at 267/9 – the fourth highest innings total in an U19 World Cup ever.

There were useful contributions from the middle and lower order as well. Washington Sundar, Arman Jaffer and Mayank Dagar’s cameo ensured that there was a final push to the innings to up the scoring rate.

Aggressive India see off Lankans comfortably

Defending the score, pacers Avesh Khan and Khaleel Ahmed made early inroads, and this made the already difficult task reach unmanageable proportions. Kamindu Mendis and Shammu Ashan put on a third-wicket partnership that would have given hope to the Lankan fan, but their innings collapsed soon after.

Spinner Mayank Dagar accounted for three wickets, but the Lankans were themselves to blame for a capitulation with the required scoring rate constantly rising above 6.

There were a few dropped catches and missed chances in the field, but what was even more remarkable was the kind of aggression being shown by the Indians. They gave almost every departing batsman a send-off, perhaps a sign of the new era of aggressive cricket being heralded in by India senior Test captain Virat Kohli.

The Indian team have now qualified for a fifth appearance in an U19 World Cup final, to meet either of hosts Bangladesh or West Indies. If they win the final then they will become the most successful team in the history of the tournament. They are currently tied with Australia with three trophies.

Brief Scores – India U19 267/9 (Anmolpreet 72, Sarfaraz 59, Washington 43; Asitha Fernando 4/43) beat Sri Lanka U19 171 all out (Kamindu 39; Dagar 3/21, Avesh 2/41) by 97 runs.

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