U-19s Asia Cup SF: Sri Lanka vs India
Mumbai desk, June 29: India skipper Unmukt Chand led India to a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka with a superb 116-run knock. India are now through to the July 1 final where they take on archrivals Pakistan against whom they had suffered a one-run defeat earlier in the tournament.
After contributing 17 runs to the chase, Manan Vohra scooped a catch off Lahiru Madushanka to end his opening stand with Unmukt Chand for 27. However, the skipper, who had survived a chance early in the innings, worked hard to ensure his team a berth in the final. Baba Aparajith, who had been India’s pick with the ball earlier, was castled for 23 by Tharindu Kaushal. That brought out prolific run-scorer Vijay Zol out in the middle with Chand. The off-spinner picked the key wicket of Zol to end the duo’s crucial 105-run partnership; the stylish batsman scored 54 off 71 with six boundaries.
With 78 required off 69, Akshdeep Nath was involved in a valuable 42-run stand with Chand before the captain was castled by Sanitha de Mel. But by then India were within sniffing distance of the target and reached it with 17 balls to spare.
Earlier, Sri Lanka piled on 244 for the loss of seven wickets after opting to bat first at the Kinrara Academy Oval. Aparajith claimed Shehan Fernando via a low return catch to give India their first breakthrough in the 11th over; the opening stand was worth 39 runs. Sebastian Perera, who replaced Fernando in the middle, followed him back to the pavilion, trapped lbw by Vikas Mishra for three. 34 runs later, opener Pabasara Waduge, who had played a patient 71-ball innings, was trapped leg-before by Aparajith for 45 to give his team another important breakthrough. A few overs later, with Angelo Jayasinghe run out by Nath after a mix-up with non-striker Sandun Weerakkody, the Lankans were four down for 121.
The middle-order southpaw then went on to score 73 and forged a 113-run partnership with wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella. Dickwella made 66, having been dropped even before reaching the double-digit mark. He was eventually stumped by Samit Patel while attempting to loft Harmeet Singh over the leg-side. The left-arm spinner, who had conceded 54 runs by then, dismissed de Mel off the next ball to end the over with two wickets. Sandeep Sharma then claimed Weerakkody off the first ball of the last over. New batsmen Lahiru Madushanka and Paulina Tharanga, however, added nine runs including a six off the last ball to help Lanka set India a 245-run target.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka U-19s 244/7 in 50 overs (S Weerakkody 73, N Dickwella 66, B Aparajith 2/29) lost to India U-19s 247/4 in 47.1 overs (U Chand 116, V Zol 54) by 6 wickets
Man-of-the-Match: Unmukt Chand for his 116-run knock that took India to the U-19s Asia Cup Final