U19: England slump to 58 all out

A measured century from Cheteshwar Pujara and a spectacular English batting collapse combined as India cantered to a 234-run win at the RPS.

Indian captain Ravikant Shukla won the Premadasa Stadium toss and opted to bat first, aiming to negotiate the early seam and swing movement inevitable on the green-tinged wicket, sending Cheteshwar Pujara and Gaurav Dhiman in against the English pace pair of Mark Nelson and Huw Waters. Pujara was reprieved in the third over by Varun Chopra at slip off Nelson, and despite Waters finding smart seam position and significant movement, the strength and power of Dhiman’s bat brought the opening batsman 18 off the Glamorgan swing bowler’s third over.

As Dhiman’s assault continued, England were forced to turn to spin in the tenth with Graeme White and supersub Nick James – on for Andrew Miller – in harness. White made the breakthrough in his third over, a change of pace from the Northamptonshire left-armer prompting an ugly swat across the line from the opener. The ball, striking the toe, looped up and over the head of Rory Hamilton-Brown at wide mid-on, who sprinted back and dived full length to grasp the opportunity. James, meanwhile, had less good fortune, struggling to control his line and proving expensive.

As Rohit Sharma joined Pujara, England’s spinners managed to assert a measure of control, and Moeen Ali’s off breaks added to White’s accuracy and guile. The left armer, who bowled his ten overs consecutively for just 33 runs, was unlucky not to take another wicket as he enticed Sharma down the wicket and beat the bat, only for 17-year-old John Simpson to fumble with the batsman well out of his crease.

Sharma passed fifty with a thin outside edge off medium pacer Steven Mullaney that flashed past Simpson, standing up, before winning the race to the third man boundary as the spinners’ shackles loosened. Sharma reached his own landmark – and the century partnership – soon afterwards, dispatching the final ball of Hamilton-Brown’s first over into the catch fencing at midwicket.

It took a dreadful batting mix-up to split the partnership, Sharma flicking the ball away to Waters at backward square leg and turning for a second only to see his partner stationary at the striker’s end before turning to watch Nick James break the stumps. The Indian skipper, Shukla, lasted just three balls as he swatted the left-arm spinner to Mark Nelson, tumbling on the long-on ropes.

England extended their control up until the end of the 45th over, but as Hamilton-Brown conceded 13 from the next, it finally seemed that the Indians would be able to to convert their solid start into an imposing target. Tehlan fell for 26 in the next, bowled by Nick James, but Pujara was able to complete a 135-ball century as he eased to left armer to the cover sweeper. Mullaney’s returning over cost thirteen and Huw Waters’ final over leaked 25 – bringing the Indian tally from the final five overs to 64. Pujara hooked the final ball of the innings for six, progressing to 129 not out and setting England 293.

England’s reply, that started 20 minutes before lunch due to the speed with which their spinners completed their overs, began dismally and got worse. Chopra and Mark Stoneman were bowled by Abu Nechim Ahmed, who, alongside Vijaykumar Yomahesh found unnerving bounce and seam movement from a good length. Ahmed then collected Hamilton-Brown and Ali, whilst Yomahesh collected Nelson and Ben Wright to reduce England to 22 for six and end the game as a contest. It was left to the English lower order to attempt to regain the smallest measure of respectability

As it was, only Graeme White came out with any credit, making 17 before becoming the last English wicket to fall, stumped by Pinal Shah off Parmar Bipinbhai’s doosra with the scoreboard reading 58, all of 235 runs shy of their target. Pakistan or Australia await the Indians on Sunday’s final – and on this form, neither side will look forward to the meeting

India 292-4
Cheteshwar Pujara 129*, Rohit Sharma 59
Nick James 2-60, Graeme White 1-33

England 58
Graeme White 17, Steven Mullaney 7
Abu Nechim Ahmed 4-14, Parmar Bipinbhai 2-0

India won by 234 runs

Another tight bowling effort from the Bangladeshis restricted the West Indies to 161 all out in the first of the Playoff Semis, Dolar Mahmud taking three early wickets before Nabil Samad and Saqibul Hasan combined to strangle and remove the middle order batsmen. From 98 for eight, the West Indians’ position seemed hopeless, but a ninth-wicket stand of 63 between Sunil Narine and Kemar Roach propelled their side towards respectability.

It was a stand that soon after seemed all the more critical as Roach and Nelon Pascal shared four early scalps to set Bangladesh on the back foot at 48 for four. It needed an assured stand of 77 between Shamsur Rahman (44) and Mehrab Hossain (35) to guide the Bangladeshis towards their target, before captain Mushfiqur Rahim finished the task.

West Indies 161 (KAJ Roach 29*, Nabil Samad 3-24)
lost to
Bangladesh 162-6 (Shamsur Rahman 44, N Pascal 4-53)

The New Zealand batting order fired once again in the Plate Semi Final against the United States, as a half century from Todd Astle provided a platform for Andrew de Boorder to make an unbeaten 100. Abhe Rajp took five wickets, four in the late overs as the Kiwis hit out on their way to a total of 295. The USA never looked like getting close as Hamish Bennett blew away the lower order, taking four for 16 as the States wound up 170 runs short.

New Zealand 295-8 (AP de Boorder 100*, A Rajp 5-61)
USA 125 (S Bari 23, HK Bennett 4-16)

In the Plate Playoffs, Ireland finally turned threatening to win – as they had against England and New Zealand – into winning. Spinners James Hall and Gary Kidd took seven wickets between them as the Namibians slumped to 115 all out, despite Henno Prinsloo’s unbeaten 33, before all of the first four Irish batsmen made twenties as they cruised to victory with more than 20 overs to spare. Ireland will now play either Uganda or Scotland for thirteenth place.

Namibia 115 (HS Prinsloo 33*, JD Hall 4-29)
lost to
Ireland 116-4 (EJG Morgan 27, LP van der Westhuizen 2-30)

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