INDIA, AUSTRALIA HEAD INTO SUPER SIX WITH CONFIDENCE-BOOSTING WINS -

INDIA, AUSTRALIA HEAD INTO SUPER SIX WITH CONFIDENCE-BOOSTING WINS

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ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024: DAY 10 ROUND-UP

India beat USA by 201 runs


Key batters Arshin Kulkarni and Ryan Hicks came good for India and Australia respectively in their final group games

Khel Today Bureau 

New Delhi: A century for Kulkarni and another fine knock from Musheer Khan helped India put on a tall total against USA before Naman Tiwari led their bowling performance with a four-wicket haul in a 201-run win.

In Kimberley, Hicks led Australia’s charge in a tricky run-chase against Sri Lanka’s spinners. The middle-order batter made an unbeaten 77 to guide Australia to a target of 209 with ease.

India beat USA by 201 runs in Bloemfontein

India 326/5 (50 overs) v USA 125/8 (50 overs)

India continued their winning streak at the U19 Men’s CWC on the back of another impressive batting display in Bloemfontein.

Opener Arshin Kulkarni, who had missed out in the first couple of matches, made a brilliant hundred after USA won the toss and put India in to bat.

USA struck with the wicket of Adarsh Singh soon after the Powerplay, but struggled to break the stand between Kulkarni and Musheer Khan, the centurion from the previous game.

Musheer and Kulkarni went at a quick rate and India piled on a century-stand to put USA under pressure. The duo found boundaries with ease in the 155-run partnership that was only broken in the 36th over when Rishi Ramesh dismissed Musheer for 73.

Kulkarni raced to his hundred in the 41st over, taking 110 balls to reach the milestone. Meanwhile, at the other end, Uday Saharan stepped up the scoring rate, smashing 35 off 27 balls before slicing a slower ball from Arya Garg to point.

Kulkarni holed out in the next over, but with a few big hits in the next few overs, India finished with a strong total of 326/5 in 50 overs.

The bowlers responded to India’s batting effort with two quick wickets. Prannav Chettipalayam was bowled for two by Raj Limbani in the first over and Naman Tiwari cleaned up Bhavya Mehta in the next, to reduce USA to 2 for 2.

Tiwari went on to dismiss skipper Ramesh for eight and USA were reduced to 12/3 with a huge target in front of them. Utkarsha Srivastava and Amogh Arepally showed some fight, but India kept picking up wickets.

Tiwari had Srivastava and Manav Nayak dismissed in back-to-back overs to end with four wickets while Saumy Pandey kept things incredibly tight from his end. The left-arm spinner grabbed a wicket late in the game, but the highlight of his spell was that he conceded just 13 runs in 10 overs.

USA finished on 125 and India registered successive wins with a margin of over 200 runs to go through to the Super Six on a high.

India will now play New Zealand and Nepal in the Super Six stage at this very venue, the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein, on January 30 and February 2 respectively.

Indian skipper Uday Saharan said he was pleased to see each of India’s top four batters get big runs in the tournament before the Super Six stage.

“Everyone’s playing good cricket at the moment. We are in good form and getting used to the conditions here (in Bloemfontein). Hopefully, we continue performing well here (where India play their two Super Six games).”

Australia beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in Kimberley

Sri Lanka 208 (49.5 overs) v Australia 211/4 (48.5 overs)

In Kimberley, Sri Lanka were jolted early after they opted to bat first. Pulindu Perera fell in the very first over with Callum Vidler striking for Australia.

Sri Lanka rebuilt with Sineth Jayawardena and Supun Waduge joining hands, but it was Vidler again that broke the partnership when he had Jayawardena nicking behind for 16 in the 14th over.

Tom Campbell had Waduge trapped in front the very next over as Australia gained the upper hand. Ravishan Nethsara and Dinura Kalupahana stitched together a useful stand to resurrect the Sri Lankan innings.

The scoring rate picked up slowly as the partnership grew in stature, but just as Sri Lanka’s batters looked to switch gears, Harjas Singh had Nethsara edging a wild swing to the wicketkeeper.

Kalupahana continued playing his shots and raised his half-century soon after with some support from Rusanda Gamage. But when Raf MacMillan snared Gamage and Vidler returned to dismiss Kalupahana for 64, the runs dried up.

The last 10 overs yielded just over 40 runs as Sri Lanka finished with 208 on board. Vidler was the pick of the bowlers with a 3/28 while Mahli Beardman and Campbell shared two wickets apiece.

In response, Harry Dixon and Sam Konstas got Australia off to a flier. The opening duo, particularly Dixon, was aggressive from the get-go and the quick runs put Sri Lanka’s bowlers under fire.

The 71-run opening stand was broken when Dixon tried to nudge Vishwa Lahiru to the leg-side only to see the leading edge go straight to the fielder. Dixon’s 41-ball 49 had, however, laid a strong foundation for the Aussies.

It didn’t take long for Sri Lanka to strike again with the left-arm spinner Lahiru sending back the in-form skipper Hugh Weibgen for three in his next over. Malsha Tharupathi compounded Australia’s woes with a third wicket in the next over as Konstas fell for 23.

Jayawardena had Harjas Singh stumped after he and Ryan Hicks added a small partnership, but Sri Lanka had little to celebrate after that as Hicks, with Campbell alongside him, thwarted the bowling attack with some solid batting.

Australia sealed the game with ten balls to spare with Hicks remaining unbeaten on 77 and Campbell on 33*. With three wins out of three, Australia will go into the Super Six stage full of confidence.

Australia take on England and West Indies at the same venue, the Kimberley Oval, on January 31 and February 2 respectively in the Super Six stage.

Player of the Match Ryan Hicks spoke about coming in to bat with Australia having lost three wickets in the space of nine runs.

“The plan was to take control of the game, look to bat positively because once you let consecutive dots build it’s hard to come out of that hole. Campbell and I decided to keep the runs ticking against the spinners and then help ourselves against the pacers.”

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