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Mixed Bag for India: Juniors Reach ICC U-19 WC Finals; Seniors get Thrashed

Sharada Iyer - 09-02-2016 - View: 261

Cricket - The Indian colts defeated Sri Lanka in the semi-finals of the U-19 World Cup even as the Indian seniors' team lost to the Lankans in the first T20 match

Mixed Bag for India: Juniors Reach ICC U-19 WC Finals; Seniors get Thrashed

It was a day of contrasting fortunes for the Indian cricketing side playing against Sri Lanka. While the Indian U-19 team routed the Sri Lankan U-19 team to reach the final of the ICC U-19 World Cup, the seniors lost their opening T20 to the Lankans after a dismal performance.

To begin with, the Indian juniors’ team put up a decent total of 267 runs after being made to bat first by the Lankans, who won the toss. While openers Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant couldn’t get the start right for India, the 96-run third wicket partnership between Anmolpreet Singh and Sarfaraz Khan gave the team the much-needed thrust. Following the loss of Khan’s wicket for 59, Washington Sundar, who was promoted up the order chipped in handily to further add to India’s total. And though after the loss of both Singh’s wicket (72 off 122) and Sundar’s (43 off 60), the Indian batsmen kept losing wickets at regular intervals, they were able to finish off respectably at the end of their 50 overs at the loss of nine wickets.

Asitha Fernando was the leading wicket-taker for Sri Lanka, picking 4/43 in his 10 overs. Off the remaining five wickets, Lahiru Kumara and Thilan Nimesh picked two wickets apiece, while the last was a run-out.

The Lankan chase was peppered with frequent loss of wickets that hindered their progress in the match, and in the tournament. Kamindu Mendis was the top-scorer for the Lankans with 39 runs, followed by Shammu Ashan with 38 runs. Mayank Dagar was the lead wicket-taker for India, taking three wickets in 5.4 overs at an economy of 3.7 runs. Two wickets were run-outs, while two wickets were taken by Avesh Khan, who bowled nine overs. Lastly, Khaleel Ahmed and Rahul Batham picked a wicket apiece.

Anmolpreet Singh was the player of the match, and in the final, India will face either hosts Bangladesh or West Indies, who will play their semi-final on Thursday, 11th February.

In the Indo-Sri Lankan seniors’ face-off in the T20 held in Pune, India, it was the visitors, who started off the series in a confident manner.

As like in the U-19 semi-final, it was the Lankans, who won the toss and put India to bat first. The Indian batsmen were left reeling right from the start as the Lankan bowlers wrecked havoc. Kasun Rajitha and Dasun Shanaka were the architects, who designed the collapse of the Indian batsmen, each picking three wickets for their efforts.

Rohit Sharma was out for a second ball duck and while Shikhar Dhawan tried to hold the innings aloft, he too departed quickly. At one point it did look as if the Indians wouldn’t cross the 100-run mark, but R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja rescued the team propelling India to its final total of 101 runs. Ashwin finished off as the top-scorer for India, with his 31 runs followed by Suresh Raina, who scored 20 runs.

Aside of Rajitha and Shanaka, Dushmantha Chameera and Sachithra Senanayake picked two and one wicket respectively, while there was one run-out involved.

The Sri Lankan batting however started shakily as Ashish Nehra sent both the Lankan openers, Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka, back to the dressing room early. However skipper Dinesh Chandimal and Chamara Kapugedera ensured that the Lankans weren’t in any problem whatsoever. And though Ashwin and Raina did well to take the wickets of Kapugedera and Chandimal respectively, Milinda Siriwardana got the job done for Sri Lanka as the team won by five wickets, with two overs to spare.

Ashwin and Nehra picked two wickets each, while Raina took one wicket. Debutant Rajitha meanwhile was acknowledged as the player of the match.

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