ICC U19 CWC: Ind vs WI
Townsville, Aug 12: India lost their opening game of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2012 by four wickets to West Indies in a low-scoring Group C encounter at the Tony Ireland Stadium here.
Defending 166, Sandeep Sharma got India their first breakthrough in the third over with the wicket of Sunil Ambris when the opener edged the ball to Unmukt Chand at first slip. The India pacemen bent their backs as they worked hard to tie down WI. After bowling a maiden fourth over to the nine-Test old Kraigg Brathwaite, Sharma knocked off the WI captain’s off-stump in his next over with a fuller delivery in what turned out to be yet another maiden. The India paceman, who had troubled the batsmen with his swing, bowled an impressive first spell that read 6-2-9-2.
Although Vikas Mishra and Baba Aparajith, who replaced the pace duo, managed to keep the flow of runs in check, they were not able to get a wicket. With John Campbell (36) and Anthony Alleyne (52) building a partnership, the India captain brought in Harmeet Singh in the 18th over. The two kept the scoreboard ticking and steadied the West Indies innings with a 58-run stand until Singh claimed Campbell with a return catch. The batsman had survived a chance early in his innings when Mishra had put down a difficult return catch. In his next over, the left-arm spinner flighted the ball to lure the new man Kavem Hodge while Smit Patel’s quick work behind the stumps found the batsman out of his crease.
However, WI clawed their way back as Alleyene anchored the innings with support from Kyle Mayers. The duo put together a 58-run stand until Alleyne hit the ball straight back to Vikas Mishra to give the Indians a much needed wicket. With 34 required off 57, Akeal Hosein joined Mayers in the middle. In the 44th over, Mayers edged Harmeet to the keeper for 43 after hitting the bowler for a six off the previous ball. But Hosein (11) and Justin Greaves (5) took their team to victory in a closely fought match with 17 balls to spare.
Earlier, opting to field first, West Indies kept the Indian batsmen on a tight leash on a track that aided pace and bounce. Bowling tight spells, Courtney Walsh’s wards never took their foot off the pedal and troubled the Indian colts, who slogged hard to graft runs.
Opening the batting with skipper Chand, Prashant Chopra was the first to return to the pavilion. A diving catch by Hosein off Jerome Jones saw the back of the opener in the second over. The next to depart was Baba Aparajith whose attempt at a pull off Ronsford Beaton ended in the gloves of Ambris. That brought to the crease Hanuma Vihari who saw his stumps disrupted by Jones after adding eight runs to the total. India were struggling on 34 for three at this stage.
Chand, who had put up a lone resistance against the WI bowling, was now joined by another in-form batsman, Vijay Zol. An over later India survived a scare; Mayers got the ball to take the outside edge of Chand’s willow but Ambris failed to latch on to the catch, giving the India captain a life while on 13. After a 16-run partnership, Mayers got his man as Chand edged one to the wicketkeeper.
With runs in short supply, the Indians decided to dig in their heels and continued to put up a fight on a wicket that had little in it for the batsmen. Even as they were denied singles, the Indians were determined to bat out their fifty overs on a ground where England were bowled out in the 39th over yesterday.
Zol and Smit Patel, who has shown his prowess with the bat lower down the order, stitched together a 41-run partnership until Hosein dislodged the left-hander’s bails. Earlier in the over the batsman survived an attempt to take the aerial route over mid-wicket as the fielder couldn’t make his ground to take the catch.
Batting with the lower-order, the India wicketkeeper kept the scoreboard ticking. Akashdeep Nath, who contributed a valuable 19 runs, was involved in a 44-run stand with the former before Beaton hit his stumps. Rush Kalaria, who replaced him in the middle, was given out off Mayers in the next over. A couple of overs later, a fuller delivery from Beaton dismantled Patel’s woodwork to send him back for 51. His 99-ball stay at the crease with five hits to the fence helped India get to a respectable score. After Patel departed in the penultimate over, Harmeet Singh and Vikas Mishra added seven runs to take India to 166 for eight.
India now take on Zimbabwe on August 14.
Brief scores: India 116/8 in 50 overs (Smit Patel 51, V Zol 26, U Chand, 22, R Beaton 3/33, J Jones 2/23, K Mayers 2/35) lost to West Indies 167/6 in 47.1 overs (A Alleyene 52, K Mayers 43, J Campbell 36, H Singh 3/35, S Sharma 2/27) by 4 wickets
Man-of-the-Match: West Indies’ Kyle Mayers for his all-round effort with bat and ball