The ICC U19 Cricket World Cups have always provided a huge platform for budding cricketers to display their talent and the 2018 edition has been no different. Three times champions India have one of the most seasoned batsmen in the team led by skipper Prithvi Shaw.

The 18-year-old came into prominence when he hit 546 in an inter-school match in Mumbai in 2013. He has looked in sublime form ever since he made his debut. In 9 games, he has 961 runs at an average of 56.52, with five first-class centuries against his name. He has scored two contrasting half-centuries in the Under-19 World Cup so far. In the first game of the campaign, Shaw scored 94 off 100 balls against Australia, followed by a belligerent unbeaten 57 of 39 balls against Papua New Guinea.

Other batsmen that made their mark include Manjot Kalra and Shubman Gill. While Manjot scored 86 against the Aussies, Shubman scored 63 off 54 in the same game. He followed that up with an unbeaten 90 off 59 balls against Zimbabwe.

In the bowling department, slow left-arm orthodox spinner Anukul Roy has been the pick of the bowlers. Roy bagged his maiden five-wicket haul (5/14) against Papua New Guinea and followed up that performance with a four-wicket haul (4/20) against Zimbabwe. India's pacers Kamlesh Nagarkoti (3/29) and Shivam Mavi (3/45) have also impressed with their speed against the Aussies. The duo were instrumental in shooting down Australia for 228 in 42.5 overs in the first game.

India will now face neighbours Bangladesh in the ICC U-19 World Cup quarterfinals on Friday.

England’s Tour of Australia

After the humiliating Ashes surrender, England defeated Australia by 16 runs in the third one day international at the Sydney Cricket Ground Sunday to take an unassailable 3-0 in the five match ODI series. This was the world champions' 10th loss in their last 11 ODI games and their first ODI home series defeat since 2010.

Needing to win the match to keep the series alive, the home team won the toss and opted to field. While there was some swing on offer for the Aussie pace attack,England openers Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy gave the visitors a solid start. However, the Aussies found momentum with the ball after dismissing both the openers and slowing down the run-rate. The visitors continued to lose wickets at regular intervals and several English batsmen failed to capitalise on promising starts. With England struggling, Jos Buttler walked out in the middle to turn the match around with a brilliant century, his fifth in ODIs. Buttler smashed six boundaries and four sixes to finish on 100* from just 83 balls. He was supported by Chris Woakes at the other end, who remained unbeaten on 53 off a mere 36 deliveries to take England past 300.

Chasing a total of 303, Australia suffered an early jolt with David Warner (8) and Cameron White (17) returning to the pavilion early. A 69-run stand between Aaron Finch and Steven Smith got the Aussies back on track. Finch looked in perfect touch during his 62 from 53 balls but fell to an expert delivery from Adil Rashid. Australia’s hopes largely rested with Steve Smith (45) and Mitchell Marsh (55), but both were dismissed at crucial stages, with Smith falling to a controversial low-down catch by Buttler. Mitch Marsh hit a fine half-century but couldn’t complete the job, falling in the 39th over. All-rounder Marcus Stoinis and wicketkeeper Tim Paine were left with a mammoth task late in the innings, which proved far too much for the pair as they fell 16 runs short of the total.

Earlier England cruised to a 4-wicket win against Australia in the second ODI. After winning the toss, Australia rode on Aaron Finch’s (106) second consecutive ODI century to post 270/9 in 50 overs. Chasing 271, the hero of the first ODI, Jason Roy departed early for 2. Despite the early setback, Alex Hales (57) and Jonny Bairstow (60) displayed excellent stroke play to put a crucial 117-run partnership together. Joe Root (46) and Chris Woakes (39) remained unbeaten to carry England over the line after Jos Buttler got dismissed for 42.

Pakistan’s Tour of New Zealand

New Zealand defeated Pakistan by 15 runs in the fifth and final one-day international in Wellington to complete a rare series whitewash over the tourists. This was only the third time Pakistan have been at the receiving end of a series whitewash, with the previous two being against Australia in 2010 and the West Indies in 1988.

Martin Guptill’s 100 off 126 balls anchored the Black Caps to 271-7, while speedster Matt Henry steamrolled through the Pakistan top order, removing Fakhar Zaman (12), Umar Amin (2) and Babar Azam (10) to leave the visitors teetering at 31-3. Pakistan slumped to 57-5 before Haris Sohail and Shadab Khan restored order with a 105-run partnership that steadied the innings. However, the departure of both batsmen ended any faint hopes of a Pakistan victory. While the tail-order batsmen played some late cameos in the end, it wasn't enough to get Pakistan over the finish line. Pakistan folded up for 256 with an over to spare.

The two teams now lock horns in a three-match T20 international series, in which the home team has already taken an early lead. The Kiwis extended their winning streak across all cricket formats at home this season to 12 matches when they beat Pakistan by seven wickets in the first T20 international.

Pakistan’s top order failed again, slumping to 38-6 before being dismissed for 105 at the Wellington Regional Stadium. Seth Rance (3-26), and Tim Southee (3-13) were the pick of the bowlers for the home side. Chasing 106 to win, the Kiwis were off to a bad start losing Martin Guptill and Glenn Phillips early. However, a crucial third-wicket partnership between Colin Munro and Tom Bruce (26) stabilised the innings. Munro (49*) continued in an unbroken partnership of 48 with Ross Taylor (22*) which saw New Zealand achieve the target with 25 balls remaining.


Comments are closed.