Riding on left-arm spinner Atharva Ankolekar’s fifer, Indian under-19 team defeated their Bangladeshi counterparts in a low-scoring final by a thrilling margin of five runs to win their record seventh Asia Cup title in Colombo on Saturday.
Defending a paltry total of 106 runs, the Indian colts bundled Bangladesh for 101 runs, courtesy of 18-year-old Ankolekar’s 5/28 in eight overs. If Ankolekar’s spin of web was too much to tackle for the Bangladesh batsmen, Akash Singh rattled them with his pace from the other end to return with a magnificent figure of 3/12. V Patil and SS Mishra contributed with a wicket each.
Chasing a small target, Bangladesh got off to a shaky start after they were reduced to four with 16 on the board. However, skipper Akbar Ali and Mrittunjoy Chowdhury tried to steady the ship for their team with scores of 23 and 21 respectively. But both fell short to the viciousness of the Indian bowlers and once they were back to the pavilion it was all regulation for the young Indian attack.
Earlier, opting to bat first backfired immensely for the DC Jurel-led Indian team as they lost half of the side with just 53 on the board. None of the top-three batsmen could score more than five with highest being opener SV Parkar’s 4. Jurel tried to hold the fort from one end with an important score of 33. But it was Karan Lal’s breezy 37 off 43 balls that helped Indian cross the triple-figure mark.
Mirttunjoy Chowdhury and Shamim Hossain were the stars of the pack for the Bangladesh bowling attack with three wickets each. Chowdhury took NT Tilak Verma, Karan Lal and V Patil for his figure of 3/18. SG Rawat, Jurel and VS Lavande contributed to Hossain’s figure of 3/8.