The Indian U-19 team convincingly defeated its Kiwi counterparts in their Group D match. In doing so, the Indians not only moved at the top of the group, but also reached the quarter-finals of the ICC U-19 World Cup.
New Zealand won the toss and decided to put the Indians to bat first. And though they managed to get opener and skipper Ishan Kishan early, Rishabh Pant, the other opener defied the New Zealand bowlers to notch a hard-fought half-century. Pant and Sarfaraz Khan, who came in at no. 4, put up an 89-run stand for India for the third wicket, before the former was out for 57 runs. Arman Jaffer and Khan then kept the scoreboard ticking, putting up 48-runs for the fourth wicket. While Khan lost his wicket for 74 runs, Jaffer fell short of his half-century by four runs. Mahipal Lomror, who came in at no. 7, scored 45 runs to further push the Indian total. At the end of their 50 overs, India put up 258 runs losing eight wickets.
Zak Gibson picked three wickets for New Zealand, while Nathan Smith and Rachin Ravindra picked two wickets each. Dale Phillips meanwhile picked one wicket. Smith was the most economical bowler for New Zealand, giving away only 3.9 runs in his 10 overs’ quota.
The Kiwi run-chase was halted drastically by Avesh Khan, who tore into their top-order reducing them to 16 for four by the end of seven overs. Though Finn Leopard and Christian Leopard tried resurrecting the New Zealand innings, it was far too late for them. The Indian bowlers continued to pocket wickets at regular intervals and despite the New Zealanders pushing along; they were all out in the 32nd over for 138 that gave India a massive 120-run win.
For his heroics, Avesh Khan was acknowledged as the player of the match. With its second win in the two matches played, India is currently placed at the top of Group D and has already qualified for the last eight along with Nepal, which defeated Ireland today in the other Group D match.