India battled to a hard-fought heavyweight triumph over South Africa in their first game of the ICC U19 World Cup. The four-time champions edged a gripping Guyana clash against the 2014 winners as Yash Dhull and Vicky Ostwal starred to get their Caribbean campaign off to the perfect start.
After South African left-arm seamer Aphiwe Mnyanda had caused mayhem with the new ball to reduce India to 11 for two, captain Dhull strode to the crease and showcased all the fighting spirit that has seen India crowned champions on four occasions since the turn of the century.
Dynamic Dhull struck a measured 82 to steer his side towards a competitive total as Kaushal Tambe (35), Shaik Rasheed (31) and Nishant Sindhu (27) also made important contributions.
Mnyanda’s early menace was supplemented by fellow opening bowler Matthew Boast’s three for 40 as South Africa, ICC U19 Men’s CWC champions in 2014, dismissed India for 232 to leave the clash on a knife-edge at the interval.
Rajvardhan Hangargekar set the tone in the second innings by dismissing Ethan-John Cunningham in the very first over but Dewald Brevis (65) and Valentine Kitime’s (25) half-century partnership kept the game in the balance.
South African captain George Van Heerden made 36 in the middle order but fabulous figures of five for 28 from skillful left-arm spinner Ostwal ensured India continued to suffocate their opponents.
Wickets tumbled at regular intervals as South Africa left themselves with too much to do and India, the only nation to win the ICC U19 Men’s CWC four times, got their latest campaign off to a flyer in the Caribbean.
India will next play Ireland on Wednesday at Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba, Trinidad. The match will start at 18:30 IST.
Brief scores: India U19 232 in 46.4 overs (Shaik Rasheed 31, Yash Dhull 82, Kaushal Tambe 35; Matthew Boast 3-40) beat South Africa U19 187 in 45.4 overs(Dewald Brevis 65; Vicky Ostwal 5-28, Raj Bawa 4-47) by 45 runs.