The left arm spin and pace combination of Atharva Ankolekar and Akash Singh guided defending champions India U19 to a thrilling five run win over Bangladesh U19 in a low scoring final of the Under 19 Asia Cup played at the R. Premadasa Stadium yesterday.
The pair shared eight wickets between them with Ankolekar ending with an impressive match figure of 5 for 28 while Singh bagged three for 12 to help the side defend a low score of 106 runs.
They broke the backbone of Bangladesh U19s top order who were in pursuit of a simple run chase of 107 runs. They had their opponents in tatters and struggling on 40 for 5 in the 11th over.
The Bangladesh U19, however put up some resistance through a brief partnership of 27 runs for the seventh wicket between skipper Akbar Ali and Mrittunjoy Chowdhury. The separation of the pair saw them being dealt a double at the same score of 78.
The Ninth wicket pair of Tanzid Hasan and Rakibul Hasanwas making smooth progress, helping them reach the three figure mark before Tanzim was dismissed with the score on 101.
Bangladesh U19 left with just six runs for victory, Ankolekar spun the Indians to victory by claiming the last wicket as Bangladesh U19 folded up without any addition to the score of 101.
Earlier in day India U19 skipper Dhruv Jurel winning the toss and electing to take first lease of the wicket underwent an early setback losing their top three wickets which included those of their two centurions Arjun Azad and Tilak Varma with just eight runs on the board in the sixth over.
They recovered through a valuable 45 runs stand for the third wicket between skipper Jurel and Shashwat Rawat before being separated. They fell into further trouble when they lost two quick wickets for the addition of nine runs and slid to 62 for 7.
The remaining three wickets saw them adding 44 runs which came on the back of a brief but valuable 17 runs for the last wicket between Karan Lal who made a top score of 37 runs and Akash Singh, before being bundled out a low score of 106 runs.
Thanks to the bowling pair Atharva Ankolekar and Akash Singh the India U19s succeeded in defending their low score and retaining the Asia 19 Cup for yet another year.
At R. Premadasa Stadium – India U19 won by five runs
India U19 106 in 32.4 overs (Karan Lal 37, Dhruv Jurel 33, Shashwat Rawat 19: Shamim Hossain 3 for 8, Mrittunjoy Chowdhury 3 for 18)
Bangladesh U19 101 in 33 overs (Akbar Ali 23, Mrittunjoy Chowdhury 21: Atharva Ankolekar 5 for 28, Akash Singh 3 for 12)