Under-19 Asia Cup: India beat Sri Lanka by 9 wickets

It was finally a walk in the park for the India Under-19 team after beating Sri Lanka by 9 wickets in the final to win the Asian Cricket Council Under-19 Asia Cup title in Dubai on Friday. The match was interrupted by rain and Sri Lanka scored 108/9 in 38 overs. After the introduction of the DLS method, India’s adjusted target was 102 runs, which they achieved without breaking a sweat. Opener Angkrish Raghuvanshi (56*) scored an unbeaten half-century which was an easy target for the Indians. Sheikh Rashid remained unbeaten on 31. Spinners Vicky Ostwal (3/11) and Kaushal Tambe (2/23) were the bowlers’ picks for the Indians as they overtook the Lankans.

Earlier, India restricted Sri Lanka to 106 for nine in the rain-hit U-19 Asia Cup final here on Friday. Sri Lanka opted to bat, although early morning rain made conditions ideal for fast bowling first. The Indian pace duo of Rajvardhan Hangargekar and Ravi Kumar brought the ball into the limelight, though the former was an unlucky one not to take the wicket.

Left-arm fast bowler Ravi got the first wicket of the match by dismissing Chamindu Wickremesinghe in the fourth over. The left-handed opener strikes a big blow over mid-wicket but passes it straight into the hands of Raj Bawa over third man.

Wickremesinghe’s opening partner Shevon Daniels tried to pull off Bawa, but the ball went big on him, as wicketkeeper Aaradhya Yadav bowled out Sri Lanka for 15 for two in the 11th over.

India looks to be a far better team, winning a record seven Asia Cup titles. Hangargekar was the most impressive fast bowler in the first 10 overs, producing good pace that got the batsmen hasty, apart from taking the pace off the pitch.

Sri Lanka’s batsmen looked to the sea completely against Indian bowlers, be it the fast bowlers or the spin duo of Kaushal Tambe and Vicky Ostwal. Off-spinner Tambe and left-arm spinner Ostwal both gave sharp turns to the odd ball.

Ostwal took two wickets in one to put Sri Lanka in trouble at 57 for seven. Southpaw Danit Velagal attempted a sweep sweep to break the chains, but was eventually caught in the deep.

Two balls later, Ranuda Somarathne missed an arm ball from Ostwal to the back foot, leaving him stuck in front of the stumps.

With India set to bowl out Sri Lanka for a sub-100 total, heavy rain made 74 for seven in 33 overs at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

After a long delay, the match resumed and one side was revised to 38 overs.

Sri Lanka scored 32 runs in five overs for the loss of two wickets.

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Hangargekar got a much-deserved wicket off the last ball of the innings, with Antriksh Raghuvanshi taking a diving catch at the square leg boundary to dismiss Mathisha Pathirana.

(with PTI inputs)

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