It was a low scoring match that saw how Indian bowlers broke out of jail, fought fire with fire and defended a paltry 106 runs to script a thrilling 5-run victory and retain the U -19 Asia Cup in Colombo on Saturday.
In an extremely low scoring match, where every single run became important, Indian bowlers, led by
Atharva Ankolekar (5 for 28 runs) Akash Singh (3 for 12 runs) and created enough pressure on the Bangladeshi batsmen to dig out an improbable victory. The Indian batsmen started the match with nudging, fishing & blocking and their lack of intent and technique came to the fore when they were skittled out for just 106 runs in 32.3 overs.
There were no demons in the pitch at Premadasa yet as many as seven out of 10 batsmen got out in single-digit and the fourth top scorer had only 4 runs against his name. One wondered where the new talents of the likes of Prithvi Shaws and Shubman Gills had gone? The new set of youngsters only blocked, blocked and blocked until they edged the seaming ball to the keeper. But that was the story until the interval. The story changed in the 2nd half when the bowlers bowled to a disciplined line and length and did not give away any easy run. That created enough pressure which was too much for the Bangladeshi batsmen who simply cracked, crumbled & folded up for just 101 runs.
India's seventh U-19 Asia Cup triumph did not come without a scare. Only three Indian batsmen had managed in getting to double-digit scores. They included skipper Dhruv Jurel (33) and Karan Lal (37). Chasing a paltry total, Bangladesh were reduced to 16/4. They then got to 78/6 and a good ninth-wicket stand between Tanzim Hasan Sakib and Rakibul Hasan almost ensured a defeat for India from the jaws of defeat. However, the Indian bowlers bowled well and denied Bangladesh from pulling off a miracle.