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India trounce Sri Lanka to enter Under-19 World Cup final

Last updated on: February 09, 2016 18:24 IST

Three-time champions India await the winners of the second semi-final, between the West Indies and hosts Bangladesh.

India Under-19 team

IMAGE: The India Under-19 team celebrate a wicket during the ICC Under-19 World Cup semi-final against Sri Lanka on Tuesday. Photograph: ICC

Three-time champions India continued their invincible run to enter the ICC Under-19 World Cup final for a fifth time after an emphatic 97-run victory over Sri Lanka in the first semi-final, in Mirpur, on Tuesday.

The Rahul Dravid-coach side did well to post 267 for 9 after a shaky start and then turned in an impressive effort with the ball to dismiss Sri Lanka for 170 in 42.4 overs.

- Scorecard

India’s batting stars were Anmolpreet Singh (72 off 92) and Sarfaraz Khan (59 off 71), who amassed his fourth fifty-plus score in five innings.

The three-time champions now await the winners of the second semi-final, between the West Indies and hosts Bangladesh.

The final is on February 14.

Put in to bat on an overcast morning, the Indians were under pressure right away as their formidable opening pair of Rishabh Pant and captain Ishan Kishan fell cheaply, leaving the team reeling at 27 for 2 in the 10th over.

Batting was not easy but Anmolpreet and the in-form Sarfaraz steadied the ship with a 96-run stand off 126 balls for the third wicket.

While Anmolpreet produced a gritty knock, power-hitter Sarfaraz played a measured innings considering the circumstances.

The 18-year-old IPL recruit, who came into the match with scores of 76, 21*, 74, 74, did well to pierce the field for six fours and a maximum.

Anmolpreet Singh

IMAGE: India Under-19's Anmolpreet Singh in action during the ICC Under-19 World Cup semi-final against Sri Lanka on Tuesday. Photograph: ICC

Anmolpreet, who struck half a dozen fours and a six during his stay at the crease, stitched another handy 70-run partnership with Washington Sundar (43 off 45) after Sarfaraz's departure.

India needed momentum in the last 10 overs and the late burst came courtesy Sundar and Armaan Jaffer, who smashed 29 off 16 balls before Mayank Dagar's 17-run cameo off 10 balls gave the team a competitive total.

Defending the target, the Indian bowlers did not allow the Lankan chase to take off.

Though India missed quite a few chances on the field, their bowlers were still good enough to keep things tight for the opposition.

After a batting cameo, Dagar did his bit with the ball as well, grabbing 3 for 21 in 5.4 overs of his left-arm spin.

Pacer Avesh Khan, India's leading wicket-taker in the tournament, struck in the very first over, dismissing Avishka Fernando leg before wicket even though the ball appeared to be drifting down.

Soon after, the run-out of Kaveen Bandara made it 13 for 2 in the fourth over.

The chase was not a huge one but the Sri Lankan batsmen failed to rotate the strike and a regular loss of wickets meant the asking run rate kept going up.

Sri Lanka's hopes of reaching their second ever final were all but over when the scoreboard read 133 for six in the 35th over.

Kamindu Mendis (39) and Shammu Ashan (38) got starts but failed to get that one big score needed to overhaul the target.

Meanwhile, Pakistan bounced back after the quarter-final loss to the West Indies to rout Nepal by 122 runs in Fatullah and ensure itself of a top-six finish in the 16-nation tournament.

Hasan Mohsin hit 117 and took four for 42 as Pakistan made 258 for eight after being asked to bat, and then bowled Nepal out for 136.

Afghanistan qualified for the Plate Championship final with an eight-wicket victory over New Zealand in Cox’s Bazar.

Aniket Parikh’s all-round display of 48 and two for 20 went in vain as the Afghans bowled out New Zealand for 135 and then raced home in the 28th over.

Tariq Stanikzai scored 50 and captain Ihsanullah Janat 47 as Afghanistan set up the Plate final against Zimbabwe in Cox’s Bazar on February 12.

Brief scores:

Super League play-off: Pakistan beat Nepal by 122 runs in Fatullah 
Pakistan 258-8, 50 overs (Hasan Mohsin 117, Saif Badar 88; Sandeep Lamichhane 3-53, Dipendra Airee 2-44)
Nepal 136 all out, 43.5 overs (Prem Tamang 65, Hasan Mohsin 4-42, Saif Ali 2-9).

Plate semi-final: Afghanistan beat New Zealand by eight wickets in Cox’s Bazar
New Zealand 135 all out, 44.5 overs (Aniket Parikh 48; Shamsurrahman 3-37, Rashid Khan 3-30)
Afghanistan 137-2, 27.3 overs (Tariq Stanikzai 50, Ihsanullah Janat 47, Aniket Parikh 2-50).