Dubai: Defending champions India and West Indies have proved to be a cut above their rivals — winning all their three group matches in the ICC Under-19 World Cup in South Africa so far.
The Boys in Blue beat New Zealand by 44 runs through DLS method after India were 115 for no loss thanks to Yashasvi Jaiswal (57n.o.) and Divyansh Saxena (52n.o.). The revised target that New Zealand had to chase was 193 in 23 overs, but New Zealand were bowled out for 147 in 21 overs through another deadly spell from leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi (four for 30). He had bagged four wickets for five runs against Japan too.
Rain played havoc with the schedule as matches between Pakistan and Bangladesh and Afghanistan and Canada had to be abandoned. Bangladesh were 106 for nine in 25 overs, succumbing against Amir Khan (4 for 30) and Abbas Afridi (3 for 20) when rain ended play. Not a ball could be bowled in the Afghanistan-Canada match, but Afghanistan that had beaten UAE and South Africa, reached the super league by topping the group.
Australia defeated England by two wickets off the last ball in a thriller. England posted 252 for seven but Australia chased the steep total despite needing 10 runs to win off the last over.
India, New Zealand, West Indies, Australia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and South Africa have qualified for the Super League so far.
Rain also played spoilsport in the UAE-South Africa match, which the Proteas won by 23 runs on Duckworth-Lewis method. UAE were chasing a stiff target of 300 runs when rain intervened. South Africa won the toss and got off to a good start with their openers Jonathan Bird and Khanya Cotani putting on 63 runs in 10.1 overs. UAE captain Aryan Lakra struck twice to remove Bird for 43 and Cotani for 19 by trapping them leg before with this left-arm spin.
No. 3 batsman and captain Bryce Parsons and Luke Beaufort put on a 152-run partnership for the third wicket. Parsons hit 84 while Beaufort scored 85. UAE’s opening bowler Sanchit Sharma picked the wickets of Parsons and Beaufort while Lakra took his third wicket by Merrick Brett stumped for six. South Africa ended on a mammoth 299 for 8 in 50 overs.
UAE began their chase with Lakra and Vriitya Aravind putting on 28 runs. South African pacer Achille Cloete had Lakra caught behind for six. Aravind, who hit five boundaries to score 31 runs too followed falling to Parsons. Ansh Tandon fell to off-spinner Pheko Moletsane for 12.
Jonathan Figy (36n.o.) and Kai Smith (18n.o.) added 47 runs in 14 overs for the fourth wicket as the UAE were 112 for three when rain stopped play.