ICC U19 CWC: Ind vs Zim
Townsville, Aug 14: A sublime innings by skipper Unmukt Chand and an inspired bowling performance after a cameo by Kamal Passi gave India their first win of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup. Malcolm Lake’s century went in vain as Zimbabwe lost to India by 63 runs.
After scoring 261, India’s opening bowlers, Sandeep Sharma and Kamal Passi began well by restricting the fun flow in the initial overs. While Sharma conceded only 17 runs in his first spell of six overs, Passi the more successful of the duo finished his first spell with 7-1-15-4.
Kevin Kasuza was the first to perish, edging Passi to Smit Patel behind the stumps in the fourth over, the bowler then followed-up by rattling Luke Masasire’s stumps. Matthew Bentley was the next to go after nicking one to the keeper to give Passi his third wicket. The Zimbabweans’ problems worsened after Ryan Burl’s attempted big hit landed in the hands of Hanuma Vihari at deep square-leg leaving Zimbabwe tottering on four for 30.
With Ravi Kant Singh and Vikas Mishra into the attack, Malcolm Lake and Luke Jongwe then steadied the innings. But runs were still hard to come by and the required run rate kept creeping up. The duo stitched together an 87-run partnership before the latter was run out for 29. Refused the second run by his partner, Jongwe was well short of his crease. Campbell Light who replaced him in the middle followed him after adding just one run; trapped leg-before by Unmukt Chand.
Sharma was at the receiving end of some aggressive hitting as Zimbabwe took the batting Powerplay in the 35th over. In the next over Lake meted out the same treatment to Vikas Mishra. However, in his next over Sharma put the breaks back on by castling Nyasha Mayavo for eight. With 94 runs required and three wickets in hand Peacemore Zimwa came out to bat but departed after edging Singh to the wicketkeeper for three. And back in the attack, Passi dismissed Kyle Bowie lbw to pick his fifth wicket.
Lake was the last man to depart after making a well-made 118 as Passi finished with six scalps to his name.
Earlier, India posted 261 thanks mainly to their 139-run opening partnership. Prashant Chopra and Unmukt Chand led from the front with an impressive 78. The India captain initially dealt in boundaries during his 85-ball knock that included nine hits to the boundary and three sixes. While Chand dominated the bowlers, Chopra played the patient partner as the duo gave India a solid start. The partnership ended when Chopra top-edged a Malcolm Lake delivery back to the pacer in the 27th over. Couple of overs later, Chand’s purposeful knock too came to a halt after his lofted shot found Curthbert Musoko at long-off.
With 148 on board and a little over 20 overs left, Vihari came out to join Baba Aparajith at the crease. The duo added 53 runs for the third wicket before Aparajith was caught at midwicket off Light. In his next over, the paceman followed-up with the wicket of Vihari, who edged him to the wicketkeeper. Akshdeep Nath promoted up the order above Vijay Zol was the next to be sent back by Light. The batsman’s mistimed shot spiraled high in the air before landing in the gloves of the keeper. With Light claiming three Indian batsmen in three overs India had conceded the advantage given by their openers to Zimbabwe.
With runs coming at a premium, it was left to Zol and Patel to take India as close as possible to the 250-run mark that earlier seemed easily achievable. As the duo looked to accelerate the run-rate, Zol was dismissed in the last over for 16 off 19. The left-hand batsman’s attempt to cut Musoko landed in the hands of Masasire. Passi who replaced Harmeet Singh in the team then came out to the middle and hammered three sixes and a boundary adding crucial 24 runs with a five-ball cameo that took India to 261.
India now take on Papua New Guinea on Thursday, August 16.
Brief scores: India 261/6 in 50 overs (U Chand 78, P Chopra 57, C Light 3/22) beat Zimbabwe 198 all out in 44.1 overs (M Lake 118, K Passi 6/23) by 63 runs
Man-of-the-Match: Kamal Passi for his 6/23; which is the best bowling figures for an U19 player.