India progressed to the final of U-19 World Cup with a 97-run win over Sri Lanka in Mirpur on Tuesday. Here are the five key moments in the match that turned the tide in India’s favour:
After being reduced to 27/2 with in-form Rishabh Pant and captain Ishan Kishan back in the hut, Indian camp looked to be a worried lot. That is when Anmolpreet Singh (72) and Sarfaraz Khan (59) stepped in and stitched together a 96-run partnership to both – steady the ship and pick up the tempo. His almost run-a-ball 59 took Sarfaraz to 304 runs in the tournament which is just five less than England’s Jack Burnham.
Credit should also be given to Washington Sundar (43) and Armaan Jaffer (29 from 20 balls) who played a pivotal role in India’s surge towards the end of the innings. While Sundar kept the scoreboard ticking with level headed shots, the latter was more lavish to score a furious rate.
After a slow start where India scored 33 runs in the first 10 overs, the team picked up the pace by the middle overs and had enough ammo in their arsenal to end with a bang. Despite losing six wickets in the final 10 overs, the Kishan-led side scored 89 runs to post 267/8.
Avesh at it again
A key factor in chasing a big target is a strong start. But Sri Lanka couldn’t conjure that on Tuesday. Avesh Khan sent Avishka Fernando back in the very first over and by the fourth over, Kaveen Bandara was gone too after a mix-up that resulted in his run-out. From then on, Sri Lanka never looked comfortable. They continued to lose wickets at a regular intervals thus amping up the required rate for the newcomers who failed to handle the pressure.
Areas to improve
Even though India won by 97 runs, it wasn’t a flawless performance by any stretch of imagination. There were dropped chances, mis-fields, run-out chances missed and to make it worse, unaggravated injuries. Mahipal Lomror injured his ankle while trying to stop a drive and didn’t bowl after three balls. Rahul Batham also trotted off the pitch but he re-joined later. These would be important points to consider for the Rahul Dravid coached side irrespective of their opponents in Sunday’s final.