Sarfaraz Khan hit a timely half-century and left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav became the first Indian bowler to register a hat-trick in the ICC Under-19 World Cup but the defending champions struggled to a five-wicket victory over minnows Scotland while chasing a paltry target of 89 in their Group A match in Dubai, on Monday.
Yadav's hat-trick was the highlight of a superb bowling effort by the Indians before they survived a collapse of their own to finish at 92 for five in 22.3 overs.
On a pitch, which seemed to be loaded in favour of the bowlers, Scotland won the toss and elected to bat but the decision backfired as the Indian bowlers wrecked havoc.
Opener Andrew Umeed was the top scorer for Scotland with a steady innings of 44 from 77 balls, while Gavin Main was the only other Scottish batsman to touch the double-figure mark with a 22-ball 16 but the rest of the batsmen disappointed.
Kuldeep and Aamir Gani were the pick of Indian bowlers with four wickets apiece but the former shone brighter with his historic feat, which came in the 19th and 21st over.
The young spinner claimed the wickets of Nick Farrar (0), Kyle Stirling (0) and Alex Baum (5) fell off successive deliveries to complete his hat-trick.
The tweaker had Farrar caught by Deepak Hooda at square leg, before trapping Stirling leg before wicket off his last delivery in the 19th over. He completed the hat-trick in the 21st over when he crashed through the stumps of Baum to notch up a historic feat. He finished with splendid figures of four for 28 in 10 overs, including a maiden.
He was brilliantly backed by off-spinner Gani, who ended Umeed's resistance by piercing his bat and pad to rattle his stumps. Later he cleaned up the tail to complete a dominating bowling display by the Indians as Scotland were bowled out for a paltry 88 in 29.4 overs.
However, the defending champions struggled with the bat and lost a few quick wickets at the start to give Scotland some hope.
Their first wicket fell with just one run on the board when Chayank Gosain got opener Akhil Herwadkar (0) to edge one to wicketkeeper Baum.
Skipper Vijay Zol went back without disturbing the scorer, while the rest of the top half failed to touch the double-digit mark before the middle order stepped in to arrest the slide and save the embarrassment.
Gosain was the best bowler for Scotland as he took three for 31 in his 10 overs.
Sarfaraz Khan once again came to India's rescue with his second successive half-century as he stroked 45 from 51 balls, hitting five boundaries and a six. He got good support from Deepak Hooda, who also chipped in with an unbeaten 24 to help steer the team home.
This was India's second victory in a row in the tournament, having beaten Pakistan by 40 runs in their first match.
Image: Sarfaraz Khan
Photograph: 2014 © IDI/Getty Images