Defending champions India began their title defence with a comfortable 90-run victory over Sri Lanka in a Group A match in the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2020 at Bloemfontein on Sunday (January 19). Put into bat, riding on half-centuries by captain Priyam Garg (56 off 72), opener Yashasvi Jaiswal (59 off 74) and wicketkeeper Dhruv Jurel (52 not out off 48) the Indian colts posted a competitive 297 for 4 in their allotted 50 overs and later defended that with ease by bowling the Sri Lankans out for 207 in 45.2 overs.
On a sub-continent like slowish wicket, chasing a total close to 300 was always a stiff ask for Sri Lanka, especially after losing the early wicket of Navod Paranavithana in the fourth over. However, the middle-order showed resistance as a lot of their batsmen got starts but they couldn’t capitalise those. Skipper Nipun Dananjaya top-scored for them (50 off 59 balls) whereas No.3 Ravindu Rasantha missed his half-century by one run.
For India, leggie Ravi Bishnoi (2/44 in 10 overs), off-spinner Siddhesh Veer (2 for 34 in 6 overs) and left-arm seamer Akash Singh (2/29 in 9 overs) were the most successful bowlers. Also, fast bowler Kartik Tyagi (1/27 in 7.2 overs), who already has a multi-crore IPL contract, looked impressive as well as he time and again breached the 140 kmph mark. The opposition batsmen found his short ball difficult to handle.
Earlier, Mumbai batsman Yashasvi and his opening partner Divyansh Saxena laid the platform of a big score with a 66-run partnership. The latter was the first to depart to Amshi de Silva for 23 in the 12th over. Yashasvi and Tilak Verma then put up 46 runs for the second wicket. However, just after Yashasvi brought up his fifty, he was dismissed by Dilshan Madushanka for 59.
In the middle-order skipper Priyam found able support from Tilak as the pair contributed 59 runs for the third wicket. But just when the duo was looking to shift gear, Tilak falls four runs shy of his fifty. Then the vice-captain and wicketkeeper-batsman Dhruv joined Priyam in the middle and took control of the proceedings. Towards the end all-rounder Siddhesh played a quickfire innings (unbeaten 44 off 27) to take India close to the 300-run mark. At the end of the match, for his all-round effort the youngster was named the ‘Player of the match’.
India’s next game in the competition will be against Japan on Tuesday (January 21).
India U19s 297 for 4 in 50 overs (Priyam Garg 56, Yashasvi Jaiswal 59, Dhruv Jurel 52*; Ashian Deniel 1/39) beat Sri Lanka U19s 207 in 45.2 overs (Nipun Dananjaya 50, Siddhesh Veer 2/34, Ravi Bishnoi 2/44) by 90 runs.
Player of the match: Siddhesh Veer
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