Left-arm seamer Ravi Kumar bowled a sensational opening spell as India beat defending champion Bangladesh to enter the semifinals of ICC U-19 World Cup at Coolidge, Antigua, on Saturday.
The five-wicket win was India’s seventh win out of nine U-19 World Cup quarterfinals.
India will meet Australia in the semifinal on February 2.
Ravi, son of a CRPF personnel and born in Uttar Pradesh, ended with excellent figures of 7-1-14-3 on a tacky pitch as Bangladesh was all out for 111 in 37.1 overs. Bangladesh was 56 for 7 at one stage before S. M. Mehrob (30) and Ashiqur Zaman (16) added 50 for the eighth wicket to take the team past the 100-run mark.
India chased down the target in 30.5 overs with opener Angkrish Raghuvanshi top-scoring with 44. Captain Yash Dhull scored a chiselled 20 n.o. and his deputy Shaik Rasheed scored 26.
The victory was even more satisfying considering the youngsters came back without any training post recovery from COVID-19, and it avenged India’s loss in the U-19 World Cup final in February, 2020. For the current batch, this win was also necessary after it was beaten twice by Bangladesh last year during a four-nation meet in Kolkata.
India won the toss and Ravi made full use of the moisture in the pitch, as initial movement helped the team’s cause.
Ravi, who has the natural ability to bring the ball back into right-handers, dismissed Mahfijul Islam (2) to an inswinger in the second over. Islam’s opening partner, the left-handed Iftakher Hossain, soon departed, done in by the slowness of the track as he tried to square cut and was held at point by vice-captain Shaikh Rasheed.
No. 3 Prantik Nawrose (7) was not comfortable during his stay at the crease and he fell to a delivery that swung away from him, caught in the slips.
Struggling at 14 for 3 in the eighth over, Bangladesh tumbled further as wickets fell at frequent intervals.
Left-arm spinner Vicky Ostwal (9-1-25-2) was consistent with his flight and dip, but the wrecker-in-chief was Ravi, who until a few months ago was another outstation cricketer plying his trade in Kolkata club cricket. The 18-year-old had his share of twists and turns before he became the pace spearhead for India colts in the tournament.
- Bangladesh 111 in 37.1 overs (Ravi Kumar 3 for 14) lost to India 117 for 5 in 30.5 overs (Mondol 4 for 31)
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