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U19 Asia Cup Final: Indian bowlers shine, restrict Sri Lanka to 106/9

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Dubai, Dec 31 (IANS) India’s bowling attack, with immaculate line and length, shined to keep Sri Lanka to just 106/9 in 38 overs in a rain-hit final of the U19 Asia Cup at the Dubai International Stadium here on Friday. India now need 107 runs to win the final and the tournament for the eighth time.

India’s fantastic show with the ball started with pacers Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Ravi Kumar and Raj Bawa pushing Sri Lanka on the backfoot in the first 10 overs.

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After Kumar and Bawa took a wicket apiece, off-spinner Kaushal Tambe compounded Sri Lanka’s problems by picking up two wickets. Left-arm spinner Vicky Ostwal was the pick of the bowlers for India, taking 3/11 in eight overs.

After the toss went in Sri Lanka’s favour, the innings didn’t go their way on a lush green pitch. Left-arm pacer Kumar provided the first breakthrough for India as Chamindu Wickramasinghe departed for three, giving a simple catch to Bawa at third man. Kumar could have got his second wicket if not for the slip fielder dropping a tough chance apart from an early run-out chance missed.

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Kumar and Bawa kept things tight with their disciplined bowling as Sri Lanka crawled to 15/1, without scoring a boundary. Bawa got his first wicket as Shevon Daniel nicked behind to keeper Aaradhya Yadav for six. Sadisha Rajapaksa and Anjala Bandara struck a boundary each but off-spinner Tambe trapped the latter lbw.

Tambe returned to clean bowl Pawan Pathiraja for four. Rajapaksa, who had entered the double figures, holed out to Shaik Rasheed off left-arm spinner Ostwal. Ostwal returned in the 27th over to take out Dunith Wellalage (caught by Bawa at mid-wicket) and Ranuda Somarathne (trapped lbw). Sri Lanka laboured to reach 74/7 in 33 overs before rain halted play.

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It took almost three hours and 15 minutes for rain to relent before Sri Lanka could bat for five more overs to finish their innings. After the match re-started, a brilliant direct hit from Rasheed caught Raveen de Silva short of the crease.

Yasiru Rodrigo and Matheesha Pathirana hit a couple of boundaries before the latter pulled straight to a diving Angkrish Raghuvanshi at deep backward square leg to give Hangargekar a wicket on the last ball of the innings.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 106/9 in 38 overs (Yasiru Rodrigo 19 not out, Raveen de Silva 15; Vicky Ostwal 3/11, Kaushal Tambe 2/23) vs India.

–IANS

nr/akm

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