Skipper Vijay Zol (100) and Sanju Samson (100) hit contrasting centuries as India scored a comprehensive 40-run victory over arch-rivals Pakistan to win the Under-19 Asia Cup in Sharjah on Saturday.
While Zol's knock, laced with seven fours and two sixes, came off 120 balls, Samson took just 87 deliveries for his ton that included eight boundaries and four sixes, as India posted 314 for 8 in their allotted 50 overs.
In reply, Pakistan could muster 274 for 9, despite a fighting ton from Kamran Ghulam (102 not out, 89b, 12x4s).
Put in to bat, India got off to a solid start with openers Ankush Bains (47) and Akhil Herwadkar (12) putting on 65 runs in 6.4 overs.
It was medium pacer Zia-ul-Haq who got the first breakthrough for Pakistan by removing Herwadkar, while leg-spinner Karamat Ali dismissed Bains as India were reduced to 85 for two.
However, Zol and Samson joined hands to share a massive 180-run partnership for the third wicket.
The two batsmen kept rotating the strike well by taking singles, but punished any loose deliveries that came their way to frustrate the Pakistani bowlers.
Karamat finally broke the partnership when he saw off Zol, who mistimed a shot and lofted the ball to Zafar Gohar at mid-on.
Samson took revenge by hitting Karamat for two consecutive sixes off the next two deliveries. He, however, failed to sustain for long and was out a couple of overs later. By the time he departed, India were comfortably placed at 286 for 4 in 44.1 overs.
For Pakistan, Zafar Gohar (2/52), Zia-ul-Haq (2/56) and Karamat (2/78) took two wickets each, while Kamran Ghulam chipped in with one.
Chasing a massive target, Pakistan faltered from the beginning, losing Mohammad Umair (17), Imam-ul-Haq (18), Hasan Raza (1) and Saifullah Khan (3) cheaply, and were reeling at 88 for 4.
But opener Sami Aslam played a sensible knock even as wickets kept tumbling at the other end.
Leading from the front, skipper Aslam found able support in Kamran Ghulam and the two put on a solid 93-run stand for the fifth wicket to keep Pakistan's chances alive.
Aamir Gani broke the dangerous partnership by dismissing Aslam for a well-made 87 off 96 balls, studded with 10 boundaries.
Ghulam, however, showed a lot of character as he continued to play aggressively, scoring at better than a run-a-ball.
Unfortunately he ran out of partners at the other end and it was a matter of time before Pakistan fell short by a huge margin.
Kuldeep Yadav was the pick of the Indian bowlers with figures of three for 72, while Deepak Hooda (2/37), Gani (2/39) and Chama Milind (2/44) claimed two wickets each.
Last year also the same teams made the final but the match ended in a tie, and the trophy was shared.
Image: Sanju Samson
Photograph: ACC U-19 Asia Cup 2014 on Facebook