Sarafarz Khan and Washington Sundar led India to a 79-run win over Ireland at the Shere Bangla National Stadium to get the Blue Cubs’ Under-19 Cricket World Cup campaign off to a fantastic start in Bangladesh. The toss was won by the Green Army who elected to field first. Ishan Kishan took to the field alongside Rakshid Pant to open the batting for India but only lasted three balls before making his way back to the stands while Pant managed a disappointing six off of 22 balls before he was taken by keeper Lorcan Tucker, handing Rory Anderson and Joshua Little their first wickets of the day.
Irish captain, Jack Tector was elated after the wicket of Ricky Bui in the 13th over and all of a sudden India was under pressure, now 48/3. Despite Armaan Jaffer (pictured) walking after just four runs, Khan and Sundar added a further 136 runs for the south Asians taking them up to a total of 229/7 after 45 overs following a fantastic display of batting by the two Indian youngsters. The remainder of the batting line-up could rack up just 69 runs between them with Zeeshan Anshari making the greatest contribution, 36 runs off of 36 balls.
For Ireland, Little and Anderson each took three wickets with Tucker having a cracker of a game behind the stumps, taking four catches. The Irish would have been happy with India’s total of 268/9 after 50 overs but would have hoped for a slightly more economic performance from their opening bowler, Little. After the break Ireland took to the field chasing a reasonable total and would need just over five runs per over to get the win.
Despite being the favorites at this point in time, the Irish carelessly threw away their advantage losing four wickets and making a destitute 46 runs after facing just 98 balls. Lorcan Tucker and William McClintock walked in at numbers five and six, contributing 57 and 58 runs respectively to save the Irish some embarrassment. McClintock had a decent innings before being beaten by the spin and flight of Zeeshan Anshari, allowing Pant to put the nail in the coffin as he stumped the Irishman.
Tucker had a great day behind the stumps and was doing a good job in front too before being caught by Batham at short fine leg to bring the Europeans’ innings to a close on 189 all out. Batham, Khan and Lomror shared the spoils for India with the ball but there could be no argument with the man of the match. Khan was rewarded for his leadership, scoring 74 runs and taking two wickets to propel the Blue Cubs to a hard-fought victory.
Meanwhile, qualifier Nepal caused the first major upset of the tournament when it stunned New Zealand by 32 runs in a Group D match in Fatullah on Thursday. In Group B games played in Sylhet, Pakistan crushed Afghanistan by six wickets and Sri Lanka overpowered Canada by 196 runs.
Photo credit: ©ICC