31 January 2016
ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup Day 6 Preview
Full preview of all matches at U19 CWC Day 6 as India U19 meets Nepal U19 to decide Group D topper, New Zealand U19 faces Ireland U19 in clash of winless teams and Afghanistan U19 takes on Canada U19 with both sides looking for their first win
While both India and Nepal have already qualified for the knockouts, finishing as group topper will put it in a stronger position to push its case for a semi-final
Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
For a generation that defines itself through Instagram posts, tweets and Facebook status updates, taking a selfie is an integral part of their identity. Keeping up with the trend, the teams at the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2016 are made to pose for a selfie after every win.
Sarfaraz Khan is the organiser of the show in the Indian ranks. He decides who must stand where, and when to smile and shout, even as he holds the selfie stick in his hand. If he is unhappy with the outcome, he orders a retake till the picture is perfect.
Soon after the selfie formalities were done with after India’s 120-run win against New Zealand, Dominic Cork, one of the television commentators, asked Sarfaraz why he had not been named the man of the match. Sarfaraz, who has made 70-ball 74s in both of India’s wins, said it was because he had not scored 150. Cork immediately challenged Sarfaraz to hit “174 in the next game”.
If Sarfaraz manages to do that against Nepal Under-19 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Monday (February 1), then not only will he put himself in a strong position to win a second man of the match award in three games, he will also in all probability help India Under-19 finish as leaders of Group D.
While both India and Nepal have already qualified for the knockouts, finishing as group topper will put it in a stronger position to push its case for a semi-final spot, as it will play the second-placed team from Group A in the quarter-final.
Assuming Bangladesh prevails over Namibia, then India will play Namibia in the quarterfinal in Fatullah should it win, while Nepal will face Bangladesh in Mirpur. Aware of the consequences, both teams opted for a full-fledged practice session on the match eve.
Having recorded two wins in two games and surprised many around them, the Nepal boys stuck as a unit and were quietly confident.
While acknowledging that much of their game had been learnt from the Indians, Binod Das, a legend in Nepal cricket and the team’s assistant coach, said his boys were not overawed by the occasion of playing the biggest cricket nation in the world in a televised game.
“It (India) is a big cricketing nation, we have learnt so much of our art from them so there is respect for them, but we are also looking to compete against them,” said Das. “I believe if we stick to the basics, we will give them a tough time.”
Asked if they had studied India closely, Das preferred to keep things simple. “I feel too much of analysis could cause paralysis in some ways,” he added. “We are really fortunate with the kind of talent we have, we have all the bases covered. I have asked them to be fearless and play their best game tomorrow. And, if they do that, it will be a good game to watch for everybody.”
Not that the Indians were taking things lightly in their build-up. India is expected to make at least one change. Shubham Mavi, the Uttar Pradesh right-arm seamer who is yet to play in the tournament, had an extended bowling session under the watchful eyes of Rahul Dravid and Paras Mhambrey. Missing from action was Avesh Khan, who picked up four wickets with some incisive bowling against New Zealand the previous day.
Mavi’s preparations were meticulous. He calculated his run-up with a measuring tape, and practiced bowling yorkers by targeting at a shoe kept at the batsman’s end. One of his deliveries was so fast that it ricocheted off a pillar behind the stumps and caught Dravid, who was standing at where forward short-leg would have been, off guard.
Apart from Mavi, Zeeshan Ansari and Mahipal Lomror, India’s two main spinners, too had an extended stint, working out their lengths.
Among the reserve batsmen, Anmolpreet Singh, winner of the BCCI’s Under-19 cricketer of the year award for two consecutive seasons, had a good hit. While most of the batsmen had proper batting practice, Sarfaraz preferred to face throw-downs.
Once he was done with that, Sarfaraz walked past the media zone knocking the ball with his bat, fully aware that all cameras were focussed on him.
Sarfaraz loves to be the centre of attraction. His eyes must already be set on Cork’s challenge, and directing another team selfie.
India U19: Ishan Kishan (capt), Rishabh Pant (wk), Khaleel Ahmed, Zeeshan Ansari, Rahul Batham, Ricky Bhui, Mayank Dagar, Armaan Jaffer, Sarfaraz Khan, Amandeep Khare, Avesh Khan, Mahipal Lomror, Shubham Mavi, Anmolpreet Singh, Washington Sundar.
Nepal U19: Raju Rijal (capt), Dipendra Airee, MD Sunil Dhamala, Himanshu Dutta, Sushil Kandel, Kushal Bhurtel, Yogendra Karki, Sandeep Lamichhane, Ishan Pandey, Shankar Rana, Prem Tamang, Arif Sheikh, Sandeep Sunar, Dipesh Shrestha, Rajbir Singh.
New Zealand U19 v Ireland U19, Group D
Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium, Fatullah
Having lost both their games, New Zealand Under-19 and Ireland Under-19 will be eager to finish their group assignments with at least one win when they face off at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah.
So far, teams batting first have aimed at scoring anything between 230 and 250, and putting the pressure on the opposition during the chase by building blocks of dot balls. New Zealand and Ireland would have learnt their lessons from their twin defeats against India and Nepal, and would love to be on the right side of things ahead of the next phase.
After this game, both teams will travel to Cox’s Bazar to compete in the Plate division.
New Zealand U19: Josh Finnie (capt), Finnley Allen, Josh Clarkson, Zak Gibson, Christian Leopard, Felix Murray, Aniket Parikh, Dale Phillips, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Talor Scott, Ben Sears, Nathan Smith, Daniel Stanley, Ross ter Braak.
Ireland U19: Jack Tector (capt), Rory Anders, Andrew Austin, Varun Chopra, Adam Dennison, Stephen Doheny, Aaron Gillespie, Josh Little, Gary McClintock, William McClintock, Tom Stanton, Harry Tector, Fiachra Tucker, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White.
Afghanistan U19 v Canada U19, Group B
Sylhet International Cricket Stadium, Sylhet
Both Afghanistan Under-19 and Canada Under-19 will look for their first win of the tournament when they face-off in Sylhet.
Afghanistan started off well after arriving in Bangladesh, picking up a 126-run win against Ireland in its first warm-up game. Since that win, however, things haven't panned out for it. Afghanistan came very close to picking up a win in its next warm-up match against New Zealand, but fell short by 13 runs. That was followed by defeats in its first two matches in the tournament proper against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Afghanistan's bowlers have done reasonably well, but the batsmen have struggled to get going. Afghanistan was bowled out for 126 against Pakistan but the bowlers fought hard. The bowlers similarly did well by bowling Sri Lanka out for 184 but Afghanistan folded for 151 in reply. It will need to find a way of putting up big scores.
Canada, like Afghanistan, won one of its two warm-up matches but has suffered defeats in both its matches in the main tournament. Canada has issues to sort out with both bat and ball. It reduced Sri Lanka to 44 for 2 in 9.5 overs and had the innings in control, but allowed it to post 315 for 6 before being bowled out for a meagre total. The batsmen then struggled against Pakistan, which chased down a 179-run target easily. Canada has struggled to post good partnerships and the batting will need to step up.
Afghanistan U19: Ihsanullah (capt), Ikram Faizi (wk), Karim Janat, Mohammad Zahir, Muslim Musa, Naveed Obaid, Naveen-ul-Haq, Nijat Masood, Perwez Malakzai, Rashid Khan, Shamsurrahman, Tariq Stanikzai, Waheedullah Shafaq, Zahir Khan, Zia-ur-Rehman.
Canada U19: Abraash Khan (capt), Bhavindu Adhiletty, Thursaanth Anantharajah, Arslan Khan, Akash Gill, Abdul Haseeb, Mamik Luthra, Miraj Patel, Shlok Patel, Kurt Ramdath, Sarbot Sivia (wk), Suliman Khan, Amish Taploo, Harsh Thaker, Purshoth Wijayaraj.
ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup Day 8 Preview
No room for complacency as Sri Lanka U19 aims to top table