Centuries by Arjun Azad (121) and Tilak Varma (110) helped tournament favourites India to secure a comfortable 60 run win over Pakistan and secure a semi-final berth in the Under-19 Asia Cup at De Zoysa Stadium in Moratuwa on Saturday.

India put up a terrific show to qualify for the semis with a game to spare while Pakistan were knocked out of the competition after successive defeats at the hands of Afghanistan and India.

India v Pakistan
Winners - India

It was a below par performance by Pakistan, who came into the competition with momentum behind them having overcome South Africa in South Africa 7-0.

India’s total of 305 for nine in 50 overs was possible thanks to the 184 run stand for the second wicket between centurions Azad and Varma.

Azad, who had posted a match winning half-century in India’s opening game against Kuwait, was on song again scoring 121 off 111 balls with 11 fours and four sixes. He won his second Man of the Match award in the competition.

Varma, a 16 year-old batting sensation from Hyderabad has already played Ranji Trophy cricket and he showcased why he is tipped as next biggest batting sensation from India.

Much like his fellow Hyderabadis Mohammad Azharuddin and V.V.S. Laxman, Varma excelled with some elegant wristy strokes. His 110 came off 119 deliveries with ten fours and a six.

Pakistan found the breakthrough in the 38th over and then India lost wickets in search of quick runs. Naleem Shah and Abbas Afridi picked up three wickets apiece.

Pakistan skipper Rohail Nazir fought a lone battle for his side scoring 117 off 108 deliveries with 12 fours and three sixes.

An 120 run stand for the fourth wicket between Rohail and Harris Khan (43) kept Pakistan interested but once the partnership was broken there was little resistance from the lower middle order.

Pakistan needed 86 runs in the last ten overs with four wickets in hand and it was still possible when the captain was in the middle but once he was dismissed, trapped leg before wicket attempting a flick shot off Akash Singh, Pakistan’s hopes faded away. Pakistan were bowled out for 245 with 20 deliveries to spare.

There was a scary moment when Akash limped off the field in middle of his seventh over. But the Indian team management confirmed that he is out of danger.

Left-arm spinner Atharva Ankolekar was the pick of the bowlers finishing with three wickets.

Sat 7-Sep

India v Pakistan at Moratuwa
India won the toss and chose to bat
India: 305 for 9 off 50 overs (A.Azad 121, T.Namboori 110; N.Shah 3-52, M.Afridi 3-72)
Pakistan: 245 all out off 46.4 overs (R.Nazir 117, M.Haris 43; A.Ankolekar 3-36)
Man of the Match: Arjun Azad (India)


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Filed September 7th, 2019