Dubai: Indian colts showcased their depth of talent once again when they tamed Sri Lanka by eight wickets in a rain-hit final of Under-19 Asia Cup at the Dubai International Stadium here on Friday - winning the title for eighth time out of nine editions.
Chasing a small but tricky target of 102 under overcast conditions, opener Angkrish Raghuvanshi (56 not out) and Shaik Rasheed (31 n.o.) ensured there were no hiccups after losing Harnoor Singh early as they reached the target in 21.3 overs in a match reduced to 38 overs-a-side after a heavy, unseasonal downpour delayed the start in the morning.
After restricting Sri Lanka to 106 for nine in 38 overs, India’s target was revised to 102 in the same allotted overs. Raghuvanshi got his first boundary of the match with a lovely backfoot punch and followed it with a pull over square leg.
Raghuvanshi completed his half-century in 64 balls with a single through on-side. The Indian batters were also aided by the fact that the Sri Lanka bowling attack was too wide or gave too much room to effortlessly play their shots. It was fitting that Raghuvanshi hit the winning runs, a late squeeze on a Matheesha Pathirana yorker through the third man to help India maintain a clean slate in the finals of the tournament.
Earlier, Indian bowlers put up a disciplined performance with the pace trio of Rajvardhan Hangargekar Ravi Kumar and Raj Bawa pushing Sri Lanka on backfoot in the first 10 overs. After Kumar and Bawa took a wicket apiece, off-spinner Kaushal Tambe compunded Sri Lanka’s problems by picking up two wickets. Left-arm spinner Vicky Ostwal was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3/11 in eight overs.
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) lost to India 104/1 in 21.3 overs (Angkrish Raghuvanshi 56 not out, Shaik Rasheed 31 not out; Yasiru Rodrigo 1/12).
India in U-19 Asia Cup: 1989: India; 2003: India; 2012: India,Pakistan (shared); 2013-14 India; 2016: India; 2017: Afghanistan; 2018; India; 2019: India; 2021: India.