India A set up a potentially high-voltage Emerging Teams Asia Cup final against Pakistan A after defeating Bangladesh A by 51 runs in the semifinals here on Friday.
Bangladesh had India on the ropes, bundling it out for 211, a total made possible by captain Yash Dhull’s impressive 66 off 85 balls.
But the Indian spinners made use of the slightly tacky pitch to pack Bangladesh off for 160 to celebrate a fine victory.
Left-arm spinner Nishant Sindhu accentuated Bangladesh’s fall with a five-wicket haul (five for 20).
But the real protagonist for India’s victory was Dhull. He has been spoken about in the Indian domestic circuit as a player to be wrapped in cotton wool, and the day’s innings showed the reason.
At 20, Dhull has a far more settled head on his shoulders. The Delhi youngster came to the middle when India was 75 for two in the 19th over.
Dhull immediately tackled a set of spot-on Bangladesh bowlers, who exploited a hint of turn to keep the shackles on Indian batters.
Most of them fell in their attempt to step on the gas, and the responsibility of pushing the Indian innings fell on the shoulders of Dhull.
He handled the pressure with aplomb too. Overall, Dhull batted for 30 overs in the match and he was the last man to be dismissed in the 50th over.
Dhull and Manav Suthar added 41 runs for the eight wicket to carry India close to the 200-run mark, which it eventually managed to go past.
But the total looked sub-par once Bangladesh went off the blocks in thundering fashion. It scored at six runs an over as openers Tanzid Hasan (51 off 56 balls) and Mohammad Naim (38 off 40 balls) punished the Indian bowlers.
Bangladesh reached 70 in a little over 11 overs. But once the ball began to lose the shine and hardness, the Indian spinners brought their team back into the match.
Left-arm spinner Suthar removed Naim and that kicked off a procession of Bangladesh batters going back to the pavilion.
They lost the rest of the nine wickets for 90 runs to complete a spectacular implosion as Sindhu weaved his magic.
Earlier, Pakistan A defeated Sri Lanka A by 60 runs in the first semifinal to enter the summit clash.
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