U19

U19 WC, Pant blows away Nepal’s modest score

India Under-19 opener Rishabh Pant hit the record fastest Under-19 fifty to smash Nepal ‘s modest total against India. Pant was eyeing on the fastest hundred record which he couldn’t make but he surely gave India a brisk win.

Team India won the toss and chose to field first looking at their strength in batting. The pace attack of India did a great job up front. Avesh Picked up 2 wickets in his first spell and Ahmad though could not pick up a wicket but gave nothing to Nepal in the form of runs for India.

Avesh took Dhamala in the first over of the game for zero. Later, India struck again as Avesh rattled the stumps of Karki and Nepal was struggling at 24 for 1. Nepal batsmen tried hard to stick in there by playing a lot of balls, but team India gave them nothing to score. Sunar did manage to cross 30 but he too played a lot of balls, 73 to be precise against India.

Once the fast bowlers completed their initial spell, it was time for the spinners to take over for team India. Dagar, in particular, was absolutely superb for India. The spinner produced some beauties with his fingers.

Dagar took the wickets of Rajal and Sunar down and posted a major threat to Nepal. Rajal was caught by Khan while Sunar edged Dagar to Sundar. Sheikh and Singh did manage to score some runs from the Nepal middle order, but then again some tight bowling from India did not let them free their arms even after scoring 26 and 35.

Sundar picked up 2 wicket sin the middle phase for India. Sheikh looked confident with his 26 against India. But Sundar gets the better of him. Tamang gave Nepal the support to cross 150 runs mark, but against a tight Indian batting, it was nothing. Singh was caught by Jaffer and at the Nepal just made 169 in their 48 overs.

The chase from team India was all about their wicket keeper and opening batsman Rishabh Pant. Pant might have a pre-game plan to hit the fastest Under-19 hundred because the way he started hitting the ball right in the first over gives this impression to many cricket fans. Pant pulled his first ball down the mid-wicket fence and then kept on hitting it again and again for team India.

Pant got out after hitting 78 off 24 balls. Pant struck 9 fours and 5 sixes in his ravishing knock. Pant was very strict on the leg side. He targeted the mid-wicket and long on and most of his hits went to this arc. However, at the same time, he was cautious against good deliveries. India was on a roll today, thanks to this pair. Nepal bowlers kept it short and as a result, Pant was able to pull most of the balls on the leg side.

Pant though failed to reach the fastest hundred landmark, but he sure broke the fastest fifty record. Pant hit 18 balls fifty to name the record for himself and India. Team India captain Kishan was standing at the other end watching and appreciating Pant on his every shot. Kishan kept himself quiet in the first few overs, but once the spinners came in he too just opened up. Kishan made 52 off 40 balls.

The pair added 124 runs in just 9.1 overs for India before Pant lost his stumps to Tamang. Bhui did not get much of the runs today and was caught by the sub off Tamang for 7. Bhui and Kishan got out on back to back for India. Tamang got Bhui on the last ball of his over and on the first ball of the next one, Lamichhane got the edge of Kishan and Dhamala caught the ball easily.

By that time India had taken over the game completely. Khan and Jaffer took them home, making 21 and 12. Khan hit the winning shot and it went all the way for a six right at the start of 19th over. India won the game by 7 wickets. Pant was awarded the man of the match title for his record-breaking innings.

India Under-19s 175/3 (18.1 overs)

(Pant 78, Kishan 52, Tamang 2-41) beat

Nepal Under-19s 169/8 (48 overs)

(Sunar 37, Singh 35, Khan 3-32) by 7 wickets.

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