Under 19 World Cup: Day Two

England U-19s opened up their World Cup campaign with a less than convincing victory over a multi-talented and much fancied Nepal side. Despite setting a target of 210, the England spinners exerted their greater experience on the Nepalese as the chasing side threw away a solid start to be dismissed for 132.

Captain Kanishka Chaugai generated much of the early pace and hit both England opening bowlers out of the attack, before being forced to retire hurt with a cramp problem that also dogged his preparation in the warm-up matches. His exit was almost immediately followed by the loss of fellow opener Mahesh Chhetri, who, frustrated by the dominance of Nicholas James and Graeme White, both left-arm spinners, was the first of three Nepalese batsmen to be run out. Soon Nepal had slid to 57 for three as the pair of slow-left-armers conceded just 17 runs between the overs of seven to 21.

While a slight revival brought Nepal to 95 without further loss, they never looked to have any real degree of control over the bowlers, and another collapse saw the last six wickets, three of which were taken by Surrey’s Rory Hamilton-Brown, fall for just 37 runs. Prem Chaudhary was the sole batsman to offer further resistance, smiting two sixes in his 31.

Earlier, England had limped to a disappointing 209, with Varun Chopra making 38, Mark Nelson 40 and captain Moeen Ali 54. As in the Nepal innings, the slower bowlers once again proved effective in limiting the flow of runs, with Ratan Rauniyar and Sharad Vesawkar both claiming a brace of wickets.

Group D, Colombo (SSC)
England 209-9 (50) Ali 54
Nepal 132 all out (45.2) Hamilton-Brown 3-17
England won by 77 runs

Whilst Nepal put up spirited resistance against England, Uganda were easily rolled over by Pakistan and were soundly thrashed by eight wickets. Put in by Pakistan captain and wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed, who pouched five catches, the East Africans were unable to cope with the Pakistan pace bowlers and were dismissed for a paltry 74 in 33.3 overs. Jamshed Ahmed and Akhtar Ayub both finished with three wickets, while Ali Khan took two, as just two Ugandan batsman made double figures and extras top-scored with 25, more than a third of the final total. Despite being reduced to two for two, Ali Khan and Nasir Jamshed saw Pakistan home in a flurry of runs.

Group A, Colombo (PSS)
Uganda 74 all out (33.3) Jamshed Ahmed 3-15, Ahktar Ayub 3-15
Pakistan 65-2 (12.5)
Pakistan won by 8 wickets

Despite amassing a huge 302 for seven, the West Indians were made to work hard for their eventual victory in their opening Group B tie against the USA. Opener William Perkins smashed a 150-ball 133 to provide the backbone for the mammoth West Indies total, sharing century stands with Jason Mohammed (45) and Gajanand Singh (65 off 52). Perkins’ Man-of-the-Match knock firmly quashed any US victory hopes raised by Dominic Audain’s two early wickets as the West Indies were reduced to eight for two. A cavalier half-century from captain Hemant Punoo, and from Akeem Dodson were the only real contributions to a modest USA score, but they were nonetheless giving substantial help by the West Indian bowlers, who gifted the Americans 39 runs in the form of wides – not an uncommon sight so far in the tournament. Kemar Roach conceded 24 runs in all – with just four coming off the bat – though finished with three wickets, as did Rishi Bachan.

Group B, Nondescripts CC
West Indies 302-7 (50) Perkins 133, Singh 65
USA 215 all out (45.4) Punoo 65; Roach 3-24, Bachan 3-42
West Indies won by 87 runs

Favourites India confirmed their World Cup potential with a nine-wicket rollicking of Namibia. Promising leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, fresh from Ranji success for Uttar Pradesh, was the chief destroyer with three wickets, while three other Indian bowlers bagged a couple as Namibia were flattened for 170 with seven balls remaining. Only Dawid Botha made more than 28, finishing with a resilient 61. Gaurav Dhiman, who also starred in the previous World Cup, then flogged the Namibian bowlers to all corners of the Premadasa Stadium in a 71-ball 90 that including twelve fours and three monstrous sixes. Cheteshwar Pujara, with an unbeaten 66, and Rohit Sharma, saw the Indians home with little over half of their overs gone and nine wickets still intact.

Group C, Colombo (RPS)
Namibia 170 all out (48.5) Botha 61; Piyush Chawla 3-38
India 173-1 (27.1) Dhiman 90, Pujara 66*
India won by 9 wickets

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