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ICC U-19 WC: Sarfaraz”s knock ensures Team India”s victory over Ireland

ICC U-19 WC: Sarfaraz”s knock ensures Team India”s victory: Ireland U19, who filled up the gap created by the withdrawal of Australia U19 from the tournament, had a tough time facing India U19 in their ICC U19 World Cup tournament opener played at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Bangladesh.

The fifth wicket partnership of 113 runs in 25.1 overs between the Irish wicketkeeper Lorcan Tucker (57) and William McClintock (58) was not good enough to help their team reach the target of 269 runs set by Team India U19.

Earlier, winning the toss, Ireland led by Jack Tector, put India into bat. Powered by a 70-ball 74 run, aided by 7 fours, scored by Sarfaraz Khan and his 110-run fifth wicket partnership in 17.2 overs with Washington Sundar (62), Team India put up 268 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in 50 overs.

Sarfaraz-Khan-U19
Player of the Match, Sarfaraz Khan amassed 74 runs to provide India 2 points in their tournament opener

Khan’s 50 runs came off 54 deliveries with the help of 5 fours while Sundar’s half-ton came in 61 deliveries with 2 fours.

India did not have a good start, with both openers, skipper Ishan Kishan (0) and wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant (6) returned back to the pavilion with just 46 runs on the board in 11.5 overs. India was struggling at 55 runs for the loss of 4 wickets in 16.5 overs.

Thereafter Khan and Sundar shouldered the responsibility of ‘steadying the ship’ and stayed put together for another 17.2 overs and accumulated runs at the rate of 6.34 an over.

Lower down the order, Zeeshan Ansari scored 36 runs, at ‘run a ball’ that helped India to set a big target of 269 runs for the opposition.

Pacers Joshua Little (10-1-52-3) and Rory Anders (10-2-35-3) were the pick of Irish bowlers.

Chasing the target, Ireland lost both their openers, Jack Tector (1) and Stephen Doheny (4), pretty cheap. Though Adam Dennison (20) and Gary McClintock (17) tried to bring some sanity to the score board, they too fell soon at the team score of 46/4 runs in 16.2 overs.

The century partnership for the fifth wicket brought more respectability to the score and by the time William McClintock (58) departed Ireland had reached the stage of 159 runs for the loss of 5 wickets in 41.3 overs.

McClintock scored his 50 runs in 78 deliveries with 5 fours and 3 sixes.

Lorcan Tucker, who scored his half-ton in 74 deliveries with 5 fours, kept the fight on at one end while wickets kept tumbling at the other. With virtually no support coming in, he was the last to fall after scoring 57 runs off 89 deliveries with 6 hits to the fence, holding the fort for a good 135 minutes.

Ireland innings folded up at the score of 189 runs in 49.1 overs.

Pacers Rahul Batham (8-2-15-3), Avesh Khan (10-1-24-2) and the left-arm spinner Mahipal Lomror (8.1-0-28-2) did the bowling honours for India.

For his exploits with the bat, Sarfaraz Khan was awarded the Player of the Match.

India won the game by 79 runs and picked up 2 points.

India U19 skipper, Ishan Kishan, speaking at the post-match presentation said, “We lost some early wickets, but Sarfaraz and Washington batted well. The bowling unit was doing very well, the fielding was also really good. There was some pressure, but there are people who can score runs at the back, so we weren”t that tense. We were confident with our bowling unit also. We hope the openers do better next game. Short ball was a plan, at this level you need them. We needed early wickets because we didn”t score 300 or something. It wasn”t just the bouncers though. Taking some time to play yourself in initially is important in these conditions, that”s the thing we learnt today.”

Player of the Match, Sarfaraz Khan said, “Happy, but not satisfied because I have to do more. Initially there was lot of pressure, but I just wanted to stay on the wicket as much as possible. Trying my best with legspin. Ireland have been good, they bowled very well. I hope to go well. Dravid is a really good coach and our fast bowlers are doing really good with the new ball and the slog overs too.”

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