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India win under-19 Asia Cup under Rahul Dravid's charge

Skipper Abhishek Sharma led from the front with a four-wicket haul to beat Sri Lanka by 34 runs

T2 Online Newsdesk 24 December 2016, 5:34 PM
The Indian junior team beat the Sri Lanka under-19 team by 34 runs

The Indian junior team beat the Sri Lanka under-19 team by 34 runs Image: Twitter

You don't call Rahul Dravid The Wall for no reason. He is contributing towards Indian cricket in a unique fashion. He's taking care of India's cricket colts and has nourished talents such as Karun Nair, Hardik Pandya and Delhi Daredevils star Sanju Samson. And now, Dravid has given India the third under-19 Asia Cup title.

Skipper Abhishek Sharma (29 runs and 4/37) led from the front to help India beat Sri Lanka by 34 runs and clinch the ACC Under-19 Asia Cup title in Colombo on Friday. Opting to bat after winning the toss, India posted a competitive 273/8 in their 50 overs and then rode on a clinical display by the spinners to bowl the hosts out for 239 in 48.4 overs at the R Premadasa Stadium.

Prithvi Shaw (39) and Himanshu Rana (71) shared a solid 67-run opening partnership to give the defending champions a solid start. Thereafter, Shubhman Gill smashed a brilliant 70 and shared an 88-run stand for the second wicket with Rana to help India dominate the proceedings. At 203/2, India were staring at a total of over 300 but some disciplined bowling from the Lankans resulted in just 70 runs in the last 10 overs. Nipun Ransika and Praveen Jayawickrama picked up three wickets each as India ended up on 273/8.

In response, Sri Lanka started poorly, losing opener Vishva Chaturanga cheaply. But Reven Kelly (62) and Hasitha Boyagoda (37) stabilised their chase with a 78-run second wicket stand. Kelly, however, departed after his half-century, paving the way for a comfortable win, but Rahul Chahar's sensational return catch pumped up the visitors.

With skipper Kamindu Mendis's (53) half-century, the Lankans were once at 196/3 and looked to be on course, but a couple of wickets from Chahar (3/22) and a couple more from Sharma (4/37) resulted in a collapse where the hosts lost seven wickets for 43 runs.

Brief scores: India U19 273/8 (Himanshu Rana 71, Shubman Gill 70; Nipun Ransika 3/50, Praveen Jayawickrama 3/53) beat Sri Lanka U19 239 (Reven Kelly 62, Kamindu Mendis 53; Abhishek Sharma 4/37, Rahul Chahar 3/22) by 34 runs.

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