Indian colts surge to third straight victory
India U-19′s third successive victory in the Tri-nation U-19 tournament has dealt a blow to Australia’s chances of making the finals. Invited to bat first on the Darwin pitch, Australia were pegged back to 191-6 and then half-centuries from Indian captain Vijay Zol(64) and Akhil Herdwaker(60) helped India romp home by 7 wickets with 25 deliveries to spare.
Australia’s innings got off to a slow, albeit steady start as Matthew Short and Tom Lever put on 59 runs in 15.3 overs. Leg-spinner Aamir Ghani(3/25), then removed both both the openers to allow India to take control. India, then struck at regular intervals ensuring the Aussie procession continued. Australia’s plight would have been even more embarrassing had it not been for late boost from Jake Doran(41) and Cameron Valente(28).
India’s chase started well. Vijay Zol and Akhil Herdwaker starred in an impressive 107 run association to lead India’s strong reply. Though they both fell within a space of 2 runs, Sanju Samson(24*) and Mohammad Saif(21*) steered India home.
With this crushing 7 wicket win, India punched their tickets to the final.
Speaking after match, Australian U-19 coach, Stuart Law said ” We understand that we’re not quite where we want to be, but it doesn’t happen overnight. We’ve got to keep working hard. We’re a lot better than performances that we’re actually producing, which is disappointing-not just for me but for the players who understand we’ve been underachieving in these games”
Australia still sits second on the points table ahead of New Zealand on account of superior run rate but the Kiwis have another game in hand. Australia will crash out of the tournament if New Zealand beat India on Wednesday.