India coasted to an easy nine-wicket win over African Associate qualifiers Namibia in their opening game of the U-19 World Cup.

All of the Indian bowlers got a good workout as the Namibians, eschewing big shots, chose to push and block to a combative total. The leg-spinner Piyush Chawla again shone with 3-38.

Namibia’s fourth-wicket pair of Dawid Botha (61 from 109 delieveries, 6 fours) and Henno Prinsloo (28) put on a steady 76 without too many alarms but once Prinsloo was run out, two more wickets fell for the addition of four runs and any hopes Namibia had to get past 200 subsided. They finished on 170.

India’s openers Gaurav Dhiman and Cheteshwar Pujara raced to a hundred partnership at a run a ball against a persevering attack. Pujara had just passed 50 with Dhiman well set for a century until he sliced a drive off the left-arm slow bowler van der Westhuizen having made 90 (71 deliveries, 12 fours, 3 sixes). The remaining 24 runs were knocked off without any trouble.

Group C: India v Namibia, R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
India won the toss and elected to field
Namibia: 170 off 48.5 overs (D. Botha 61; P. Chawla 3-38)
India: 173 for 1 off 27.1 overs (G. Dhiman 90, C. Pujara 66*)
Man of the Match: Gaurav Dhiman (India)

Filed February 7 2006