U-19 World Cup Day 6 – Ireland crumble as dominant India march into Quarter-finals

Picture credit: Cricket Ireland

Brief Scores: India U19 307/5 in 50 overs (Harnoor Singh 88, Angkrish Raghuvanshi 79; Muzamil Sherzad 3-79) beat Ireland U19 133 in 39 overs (Scott MacBeth 32, Joshua Cox 28; Aneeshwar Gautam 2-11, Garv Sangwan 2-23) by 174 runs

Ireland slumped to a huge defeat against India losing by 174 runs, after a dominant all-round dominant performance at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad which saw the 2020 runners-up seal their quarter-final spot in the process.

That the game even took place came down to India finding 11 fit players after six from their 17-man squad tested positive for coronavirus, including their captain, Yash Dhull and vice-captain, Shaik Rasheed. As a result, Nishant Sindhu, the left-arm spinner, led a severely depleted team cobbled together at the last minute.

Ireland won the toss and put India in to bat first, a decision, which at the halfway stage into the first innings, may have baffled many.

Indian openers Angkrish Raghuvanshi (79) and Harnoor Singh (88) shared a 164-run partnership for the first wicket and batted largely untroubled as Ireland rotated spinners on a pitch that offered little turn initially. They opted for shots along the ground rather than big hits and rotated the strike regularly. 

Jamie Forbes, the left-arm spinner, was easily Ireland’s most consistent bowler of the day. He bowled tight lines outside the off stump and managed to draw Singh’s edge only for it to roll away for four, but struck 13 balls later in the 26th over as Raghvanshi edged through to Cox, undone by the bounce.

Singh, who struck 12 boundaries, looked on course for a century but was denied a chance when Matthew Humpreys got him out lbw in the 35th over. 

Ireland at the U-19 World Cup (Photo Cricket Ireland)

A 64-run partnership between Raj Bawa (42) and Sindhu (36) set the stage for a strong finish but Muzamil Sherzad struck thrice in each of his three overs at the death to peg India back. He bowled with good pace regularly threatening the stumps and his pin-point yorker on the off stump to Bawa was a sight to behold. However, Rajvardhan Hangargekar crunched an unbeaten 17-ball 39 studded with a boundary and five sixes, including three from Sherzad’s last over to help India breach the 300-run mark.

In contrast, Ireland lost their top three batters in quick succession by the end of the seventh over with just 17 runs between them. Liam Doherty clipped a catch to midwicket, Jack Dickson’s brief stay ended with a six-ball duck out lbw before David Vincent set out for a suicidal single and was caught well short of his crease. 

Just when it had started to look like Ireland would rebuild, Captain Tim Tector, who batted assuredly for a punchy 15, chipped an outside edge to gully in the fifteenth over. 

The sense of occasion that Ireland were playing their first televised game wasn’t lost on Joshua Cox, who pulled Raj Bawa to the midwicket fence and followed it up with a crisp straight drive to bring up Ireland’s fifty in the eighteenth over. Like Tector, Cox had begun to look promising but his 46-ball 28 failed to materialise into anything more substantive. 

Scott Macbeth of St. Johnstone played an aggressive knock of 32, which comprised of three boundaries and two stylish sixes but never really threatened to chase down the total with the asking rate creeping up to 12. Eventually, Ireland were bowled out for 133 in the 39th over. 

“After the start they had, we were pretty happy to restrict them to 300,” Tector spoke after the game. “The wicket was pretty good, there wasn’t a huge amount of movement on it, and with the outfield you could get a lot of value for your shots. It was always going to be a challenge for us, but we were going to give it our best shot – unfortunately it didn’t come off for us.”

Ireland’s next fixture is at the same venue on Friday against South Africa, a straight shootout for a place in the Super 8s.

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