Defending champions India began their Under-19 World Cup campaign on the right note as they beat arch rivals Pakistan by 40 runs here Saturday.
After the loss of early wickets, Sanju Samson and Sarfaraz Khan revived the innings with a 119-run stand to help set up the match at 262/7. After Aamir Gani broke Pakistan’s flourishing opening partnership, off-spinner Deepak Hooda claimed five for 41 to help the team to a thumping win.
Earlier, after opting to bat first, India got off to a flying start but from 65 without loss they were reduced to 94 for four by the opposition.
Irfanullah Shah castled Ankush Bains while Zia-ul-Haq trapped Vijay Zol leg-before in the next over. 21 runs later, Akhil Herwadkar was bowled for 41 by Karamat Ali who also caught Ricky Bhui off his own bowling in his next over, bcci.tv reported.
Sarfaraz then joined forces with Samson to stabilise the Indian innings and help set a respectable target for the Pakistan colts.
While Samson dropped anchor, Sarfaraz led the charge against the Pakistani bowlers. After a slow start to his innings and having survived a chance the lower-middle-order milked the bowlers to help shape the innings.
While the new ball bowlers had been given a beating by the India openers, the Samson-Sarfaraz pair plundered runs off the rest of the attack. They had added 119 to the total taking India past 200 until Sarfaraz was sent back by Zafar Gohar. He had scored 74 off 78 with five boundaries and a six before returning to the pavilion.
Samson followed him back after his carefully compiled 68-run knock was ended by Shah. In the penultimate over with the score on 247, Kuldeep Yadav was run out. However, remaining unbeaten on 22 off 18 Hooda and Gani took the team to 262 for the loss of seven wickets.
Chasing a competitive target, Pakistan captain Sami Aslam and Imam-ul-Haq put together 109 runs for the first wicket. It was in the 24th over that India got their first breakthrough when Gani claimed Imam-ul-Haq for 39. After that the Zol-led side struck at regular intervals to keep the opposition on the back foot. Couple of overs later, Aslam was run out with the team on 116.
Hasan Raza was the next to be sent back. Sarfaraz removed the No.3 batsman for 14 while Kamran Ghulam was run out for a duck later a ball later. Saud Shakeel meanwhile worked to hold up one end as he lost partners at the other. Hooda struck to remove Saifullah Khan and leave Pakistan on 160 for five with little over 13 overs left in the game.
In the 41st over, Hooda accounted for Shakeel and then sent back Gohar in his next to put India in an advantageous position.
With 83 required from 44 balls, Pakistan faced an uphill task as Zia-ul-Haq joined Karamat Ali in the middle. And three overs later Karamat Ali returned top-edging Hooda to Zol at fine-leg. Two balls later after hitting the bowler for a six, Zia-ul-Haq too perished while looking to accelerate giving the bowler his fifth wicket.
Mohammad Aftab who then came to the crease scored 10 off 10 before being castled by Chama Milind to wrap-up the Pakistan innings for 222.
India 262-7, 50 overs (Sarfaraz Khan 74, Sanju Samson 68, Akhil Herwadkar 41, Ankush Bains 24, Deepak Hooda 22 not out; Irfanullah Shah 2-32, Karamat Ali 2-37)
Pakistan 222 all out, 48.4 overs (Sami Aslam 64, Imam-ul-Haq 39, Saud Shakeel 32, Zia-ul-Haq 21; Deepak Hooda 5-41)
Man of the match – Sarfaraz Khan (India)
In Pool A, Scotland beat Papua New Guinea (PNG) by six wickets at ICC Academy 1
PNG 108 all out, 36.3 overs (Ross McLean 3-15, Chayank Gosain 3-17, Mark Watt 2-23)
Scotland 110-4, 29.4 overs (Zander Muir 39 not out, Nick Farrar 26; Alei Nao 2-28, Kabua Morea 2-30)
Man of the match – Zander Muir (Scotland)
In Pool B, Bangladesh beat Afghanistan by 10 wickets at Abu Dhabi Oval 2
Afghanistan 212 all out, 50 overs (Mohammad Mujtaba 47, Hashmatullah Shaidi 43, Nasir Ahmadzai 41; Mosaddek Hossain 3-19, Rahatul Ferdous 2-38)
Bangladesh 216-0, 42.3 overs (Shadman Islam 126 not out; Joyraz Sheik 81 not out)
Man of the match – Shadman Islam (Bangladesh)
In Pool B, Australia beat Namibia by 101 runs at Zayed Cricket Stadium
Australia 242-7, 50 overs (Matthew Short 96, Ben McDermott 45, Jaron Morgan 33, Alex Gregory 25, Jake Doran 20; Bredell Wessells 4-50, JJ Smit 3-55)
Namibia 141 all out, 44.2 overs (Bredell Wessells 43, Jaen Kotze 23, Gerhard Erasmus 21, Matthew Fotia 3-23, James Bazley 3-25)
Man of the match – Matthew Short (Australia)
ALSO SEE: 2012 U-19 FINAL