India pulled off a three-wicket in the last over to claim a spot in the final of the Asian Cricket Council Under-19s Asia Cup. After retiring hurt at the end of the first over, opener Ankush Bains returned to lead India’s fight back with a determined 54. However, after he was run out with India U-19 within sniffing distance of a win, Kuldeep Yadav and Monu Kumar took India across the line with five balls to spare in the second semi-final against Sri Lanka Under-19.
The Vijay Zol-led side will now take on Pakistan Under-19 in the final on Saturday, January 4th 2014 at the ICC Academy in Dubai.
Priyamal Perera and Dhumindu then took SL to 163 until Yadav struck again to send back the opener. And with just one run added to the total, Khan claimed Perera. In the next over Deepak Hooda had A Tyronne sent back caught by Monu Kumar. Wickets falling in a cluster kept the flow of runs in check.
Hooda then trapped T Sumanasiri leg-before to leave SL on 187 for seven in the 46th over. In the next over Yadav accounted for P Anurudda. However, Anuk Fernando who had watched wickets fall in quick succession at the other end found an able ally in Binura Fernando. In the unbroken 29-run partnership, Binura struck a quick-fire 12-ball 22 to take SL to 223 for eight.
Chasing the competitive target, the India were sent on the back foot at the end of the first over when opener Bains retired hurt. Then with 51 runs on board Akhil Herwadkar was sent back by S Fernando. Eight runs later he also removed captain Zol. Sanju Samson was the next to be dismissed with the score on 88. India's woes continued as a while later with Ricky Bhui was run out for 37. Lakshan Jaisinghe accounted for Sarfaraz Khan to leave India on 127 for five. At the fall of the fifth wicket, Bains returned to the middle in an effort to salvage the match. His blossoming partnership with Deepak Hooda was ended for 32 by B Fernando.
However, Yadav then joined Bains and the pair put up a fight for a place in the finals. They kept the scoreboard ticking with singles, and the occasional hits to the boundary helped India inch towards the target. But, with seven runs required Bains was run out while attempting to steal a second run.
Monu Kumar who replaced the opener in the middle flicked Anurudda to the boundary to bring India within three runs of the target. The pair then took India to 224 with three singles.