India kickstart U19 WC with 79-run win over Ireland

Johannesburg, Jan. 28 (ANI): Three-time champion India overcame a shaky start against Ireland to open its campaign in the ICC Under19 World Cup with a 79-run victory in Mirpur in Group D match on Thursday.

India was reduced to 55 for four after being sent in to bat, before Sarfaraz Khan and Washington Sundar pulled their side out of trouble with a 110-run stand for the fifth wicket.

Sarfaraz smashed 74 off 70 balls which included seven boundaries, while left-handed Sundar hit a polished 62.

Irish seamers Rory Anders and Joshua Little picked up three wickets each, but tail-ender Zeeshan Ansari boosted India’s total with a run-a-ball 36 at the end.

Ireland was bowled out for 189 in reply as Rahul Batham took three for 15 and Avesh Khan finished with two for 24.

Sarfaraz said he was not satisfied despite winning the man of the match award.

“I should have scored more because I had settled in well,” he said. “Hopefully, I will do better in the remaining matches. But it is good to start the tournament with a win.”

India captain Ishan Kishan was relieved that his side collected maximum points. “We lost early wickets but runs were done by Sarfaraz and Washington who had an excellent partnership. The fielding effort was great as we inflicted two run-outs at the start and then, the bowlers hit the right areas,” the opener said.

Kishan continued: “I am not that much happy with the batting as we lost early wickets but this was the first match and I am sure we’ll learn from this match and do better in upcoming matches.

“India has won the event thrice, so the expectation level is pretty high. We have to play professionally and try to live up to the expectations.”

The 11th edition of the biennial 16-nation tournament features nine Test-playing nations and seven Associate and Affiliate Members – Afghanistan, Canada, Fiji, Namibia, Nepal, Ireland and Scotland.

Teams have been divided into four groups with the top two in each advancing to the Super League quarter-finals and the other two qualifying for the Plate championships. (ANI)

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