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India win Asian U-19 cricket

November 06, 2003 18:43 IST
Last Updated: November 06, 2003 20:13 IST

Robin Uthappa scored a solid 88 as India beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets to win the Asian under-19 four-nation cricket tournament at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Thursday.

After restricting the Lankans to a modest 225 in 49.4 overs, the Indian colts rode on unbeaten half centuries from Rakesh Solanki and captain Ambati Rayudu to achieve the target in 44.4 overs.

Uthappa, whose 86-ball 88 at the top laid the platform for India's chase, was declared man of the match while left arm seamer Irfan Pathan, who came up with another excellent bowling performance, claiming three wickets for 33, was named man of the series.

This is the first official visit by an Indian cricket team at any level to Pakistan since 1998, when a junior side toured the neighbouring country.

The quadrangular event between teams of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh is part of the initiative by the Asian Cricket Council to promote the game in the continent at the junior level.

In August, a triangular tournament featuring academy teams of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka was held in Colombo.

India's victory in the final avenged its four-wicket loss to Sri Lanka in the round-robin clash. The Indians, however, scored sensational victories over hosts Pakistan and Bangladesh in the league stage.

Baroda paceman Pathan finished with 19 wickets from the tournament.

Put in to bat, the Lankans owed their respectable total to a hundred runs fifth-wicket partnership between the 19-year-old left hand bat Ganganath Ratnayake (45) and captain Mohammad Maharoof (57), who resurrected the innings which had disintegrated to four for 43 after a rousing start.

H K Vithana and Kularatne scored 23 runs inside the third over before Pathan, who claimed nine for 16 including a hat-trick against Bangladesh, rapped the former on the pads.

Sunny Singh had Kularatne caught by wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik and later removed Maharoof and G T De Silva to return with three wickets for 35 runs.

Kosela Kulasekara contributed 29 at the lower order but two run-outs towards the end robbed Sri Lanka off valuable runs.

Uthappa, promoted up the order after useful knocks in the previous matches, attacked from the outset. His 88 came in 124 minutes and contained 13 fours.

He added 54 runs for the opening stand with Shiva Kant Shukla and another 82 for the decisive second wicket stand with Solanki before falling leg before to Angelo Mathews.

Rayudu then joined Solanki and the unbroken 93-run stand for the third wicket took the match away from the opposition.

Rayudu's enterprising 57 came off 53 balls with seven fours and two sixes.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 225 in 49.4 overs (G Ratnayake 45, M Maharoof 57, K Kulasekara 29; Pathan 3-33, Sunny Singh 3-35) lost to India 229 for two in 44.4 overs (R Uthappa 88, R Solanki 56 not out, A Rayudu 57 not out).

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