Ahead of the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup 2022, we look at all the action as participating teams fine-tune their preparations for the event.
The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup begins on 14 January in West Indies. Click here for details.
South Africa v West Indies, bilateral series
Third youth ODI, 30 December
South Africa edged past Windies to take a 2-1 lead in the series after securing a thrilling one-wicket victory. West Indies had made a solid start with Shaqkere Parris (27) and Teddy Bishop (26) but Hardus Coetzer struck three crucial blows to leave the hosts struggling on 51/4 after 13 overs. Bishop and Giovante Depeiza (22) then stuck around but Windies lost wickets regularly. Leg-spinner Dewald Brevis then cleaned up the West Indies tail as they folded for just 106 runs.
In the chase, South Africa lost opener Jade Smith for nought. They recovered to reach 50/3 but then faltered soon after. Despite a fightback for the West Indies, spearheaded by Onaje Amory (4/8), South Africa withstood the pressure and through Liam Alder’s explosive 24* off 12 balls got over the line.
Second youth ODI, 28 December
After suffering a defeat in the first match, West Indies bounced back to level the series with an eight-wicket win over the visitors. In a low-scoring contest, the Proteas, who were asked to bat first were bowled out for just 103. All-rounders Andile Simelane (14) and Michael Copeland (24) looked to revive the innings but the Windies bowlers put up a collective fight and shared wickets among themselves with Jaden Carmichael (3/25), McKenny Clarke (2/12), Johann Layne (2/14) and Anderson Mahase (2/34) getting the wickets.
Windies lost opener Shaqkere Parris for nought in the second over but had little trouble otherwise. They made a quick work of the low target, losing just one more wicket to reach the total in the 24th over. Matthew Nandu top-scored with 42*.
First youth ODI, 26 December
South Africa's tour of West Indies started with a bang as the visitors registered an 18-run win in the opening youth ODI. The Proteas batted first and put on a 56-run opening stand, but soon found themselves in trouble on 101/5 with Windies pacer Anderson Mahase getting the top four. They were eventually dismissed for 146 with spinners Onaje Amory and Jaden Carmichael getting three wickets apiece.
West Indies were reduced to 20/2 in the eighth over, but the momentum shifted back with the hosts as two half-century stands featuring skipper Ackeem Auguste (27) and top-scorer Giovante Depeiza (39) stabilised their innings. South Africa had other plans as the combined brilliance of Dewald Brevis (3/36) and Andile Simelane (2/5) helped them pick up six wickets for just seven runs as the hosts folded for 128.
Asia Cup U19 2021
India v Sri Lanka, Final, 31 December
India emerged victorious to claim their eighth Asia Cup U19 title with a nine-wicket win over Sri Lanka (via DLS method). In another magnificent bowling display, they were able to restrict the Lankans to 106/9 in a match reduced to 38 overs. Vicky Ostwal claimed three wickets, Kaushal Tambe got two, while Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Ravi Kumar and Raj Bawa bagged one apiece. Yasiru Rodrigo top-scored for Sri Lanka with 19*.
India only lost the wicket of Harnoor Singh in the chase, when he was lbw off Rodrigo for 5 in the fifth over. Despite another brief stoppage in play, India continued to maintain a dominant position. The target was revised to 102 in 32 overs and they comfortably scaled it in 21.3 overs. Angkrish Raghuvanshi finished with 56*, while his partner Shaik Rasheed scored a 49-ball 31*.
India v Bangladesh, 2nd semi-final, 30 December
India joined Sri Lanka in the final after a huge victory over Bangladesh. Batting first they posted a competitive 243/8, led by a fantastic 90* from Shaik Rasheed. Captain Yash Dhull (26) and Raj Bawa (23) also made handy contributions. Bangladesh skipper Rakibul Hasan was the star with the ball with three wickets.
Bangladesh openers started well but lost the way soon after. No.4 Ariful Islam fought with a 77-ball 42 but couldn't get the required support at the other end. India bowlers were clinical with four of them getting two wickets each, thus rounding off an all-round performance. Bangladesh eventually folded for 140, setting India up with a 103-run win.
Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st semi-final, 30 December
Bowlers day out in Dubai as Sri Lanka stormed into the final despite setting up a low target for Pakistan. Batting first, the Lankans struggled from the start with Pakistan bowlers making inroads early in the innings and strangling the scoring rate. The top 8 batters didn't cross more than 13 runs. Some late hitting by Yasiru Rodrigo (31*) and Matheesha Pathirana (31) helped them to 147. Pakistan's Zeeshan Zameer took four wickets, while Ahmad Khan and Awais Ali bagged two apiece.
Pakistan struggled while batting too. They were reduced to 10/3 before Muhammad Shehzad and Qasim Akram stabilised the innings. However, the stability didn't last for long as they stuttered again after the loss of Akram. Ahmad Khan played a handy knock of 36 but with wickets falling at the other end, he couldn't hold on for long. Treveen Mathew starred with a four-wicket haul as Pakistan were bowled out for 125 in the final over.
Nepal v Kuwait, 28 December
Neither Nepal nor Kuwait had won any matches in the tournament so far before facing each other. In an important clash, Nepal, who batted first, managed to put up a healthy total of 239. They did not start off well, with their top three falling for scores of 5,5 and 10 thanks to a superb bowling spell from Mirza Ahmed (3/22). However, fifties from Bibek Magar and Basir Ahamad and a gutsy 49 from Mohammad Aadil Alam helped them get close to the 240-run mark.
Kuwait were brilliant in their chase at the beginning. Openers Meet Bhavsar and Jude Saldanha got off to a flier with Bhavsar playing the aggressor. After their 109-run stand was broken by Gulshan Jha, the momentum shifted in favour of Nepal as they began striking at regular intervals.
Bhavsar stayed firm at one end but he kept losing partners, players falling for single-digit scores. However the Kuwait captain ensured that the scoreboard kept ticking and kept his composure to guide them to a brilliant one-wicket victory in the 49th over. He finished with a cracking 175* off 149 balls.
Pakistan v UAE, 27 December
UAE slipped further down on the points table with yet another loss to Pakistan, who have won all their matches so far. Batting first, Pakistan added 219/8, with a fifty from their skipper Qasim Akram. He paired with 'keeper Haseebullah who added a useful 39. Ahmad Khan proved handy with the bat once again, scoring 34* to take Pakistan past 200.
UAE may have struggled throughout the tournament but they put up a good fight. Most batters got to good starts but failed to convert to bigger totals. Kai Smith and Aayan Afzal Khan top-scored with 38 each, while captain Alishan Sharafu hit 35. As the required run-rate kept mounting, UAE only managed to post 198/9 in their 50 overs, falling 21 runs short.
India v Afghanistan, 27 December
Afghanistan were good but India were better as they scraped through with a four-wicket win in their third match of the tournament. Batting first, Afghanistan set India a competitive target of 260, with huge fifties from skipper Suliman Safi (73) and Ijaz Ahmed Ahmadzai (86*). Their batting was consistent throughout as they frustrated the India bowlers.
India, however, were confident in the chase with opener Harnoor Singh showing yet again his talent with a 74-ball 65. He paired with Raghuvanshi to put a century opening stand. The Indians stuttered in the middle overs but kept the scoreboard ticking. They kept up with the required run-rate never letting the Afghan bowlers dominate.
Raj Bawa (43*) and Kaushal Tambe's (35*) unbeaten 65-run stand eventually helped them to a four-wicket win.
Sri Lanka v Nepal, 26 December
Another stunning performance from Sri Lanka as they registered the biggest total of the tournament so far, 322/4 with two centuries. Opener Chamindu Wickramasinghe smashed 111, while No.3 Sadisha Rajapaksa scored a 119-ball 131. Captain Wellalage contributed with a steady 34*.
Nepal in reply gave a good chase, with the openers putting up a fifty partnership. No.3 Arjun Saud was the top-scorer with 64 and the lower middle order also contributed with Basir Ahmed (43) and Bibek Yadav (46) getting to within touching distance of their respective half-centuries. However, the Lankan bowlers were relentless, breaking crucial stands and keeping up the pressure with tight lines and lengths in the middle overs.
With batsmen getting starts but failing to convert them into big scores, Nepal were bowled out for 262, falling 60 runs short.
Bangladesh v Kuwait, 25 December
Bangladesh's second win in this tournament was bigger than the first, a 222-run victory over Kuwait. They put up a huge total of 291 on the back of opener Mahfijul Islam's 112. There were several important knocks from the middle order, particularly a 24-ball 45 from SM Meherob. Nine bowlers were used by Kuwait and although they picked up wickets, they ended up conceding runs to put Bangladesh in a comfortable position.
Kuwait captain Meet Bhavsar began well, scoring 43 at the top but the rest of batting line-up collapsed. There was a string of single digit scores as none of the batters were able to pair with Bhavsar. Mirza Ahmed resisted with a 27-ball 11 but he could not hold for long either.
Bhavsar was the last man to fall as Kuwait folded on 69. SM Meherob, Rakibul Hasan and Ripon Mondol were the chief destroyers; the first two getting two wickets each, while Mondol was impressive with a spell of 3/10.
Afghanistan v UAE, 25 December
Afghanistan registered their first win in this Asia Cup with a comprehensive performance against the UAE. On the back of Allah Noor's unbeaten 100, they put up a modest 194/9. Ijaz Ahmed and Izharullah Naveed contributed with 30 and 24. UAE's commendable bowling performance was led by Sailles Jaishankar, who removed the Afghan openers. He was ably assisted by Nilansh Keswani (3/24) and UAE captain Alishan Sharafu (2/32).
However, Afghan bowlers were even better. They pegged back UAE in the first over, removing Aryansh Sharma for a first-ball duck. The hosts never recovered, with as many as six ducks registered. Losing wickets at regular intervals, they failed to add any useful runs on the board and were finally bowled out for 54.
India v Pakistan, 25 December
Always a big contest when these two teams clash against each other and this youth clash was no different. It was every bit an exciting contest with both teams fighting tooth and nail to gain the upper hand. India got off to a poor start as opener Angkrish Raghuvanshi was dismissed for a duck in the first over. Some brillitan bowling from Pakistan saw a string go single digit scores from six of India's batters. However, some handy knocks from Harnoor Singh (46) and Aaradhya Yadav (50) and support from the lower-order ensured that they got to a respectable total of 237. Zeeshan Zameer continued his fantastic bowling from the previous match and took a five-for.
Like India, Pakistan too lost their opener Abdul Wahid for a duck in the first over. However, a stabilising second-wicket stand and crucial contributions from the middle order kept them in the hunt. Muhammad Shehzad hit a brilliant 81 but was run out in the 37th over. They needed 8 to win the final over and Ravi Kumar got Zaman out on the first ball. However, Ahmad Khan kept his cool and milked runs from the remaining balls, smashing a four off the final delivery to help Pakistan register a thrilling two-wicket victory.
Bangladesh v Nepal, 24 December
Another team batting first put up a big total. Bangladesh began their campaign with a 154-run win over Nepal. PN Nabil scored a stunning 112-ball 127* that helped them post 297/7. He was also supported by wicket-keeper Mohmmad Fahim, scored 58 before being retired hurt.
Nepal got off to a shaky start, losing their first wicket in the second over and despite a few promising stands, kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Bangladesh bowled as a collective unit. Four of their six bowlers used picked up two wickets each. They were also a live-wire in the field, effecting as many as four run-outs.
Their all-round performance helped them skitter out Nepal for just 143.
Sri Lanka v Kuwait, 23 December
A one-sided encounter as Sri Lanka rolled Kuwait over with a massive 274-run victory. Batting first, the Lankans put up a terrific batting performance, with fifties from four players. Openers Chamindu Wickramasinghe and Shevon Daniel made 54 each putting up a 91-run opening stand. Pawan Pathiraja was the highest scorer with a 72-ball 86 and he was ably partnered by Ranuda Somarathne, who was unbeaten on 60. They put a massive 323/5 in their 50 overs.
Their bowlers were equally impressive. Despite a fighting 25 from their captain Meet Bhavsar, the Kuwait players could not resist the Lankan onslaught and crumbled under pressure. Sadisha Rajapaksa was unplayable as he rattled the top order. He was complemented by Dunith Wellalage (4/2) and Matheesha Pathirana (2/7) as Kuwait were bowled out for just 49.
Afghanistan v Pakistan, 23 December
Like their senior team, the Pakistan U19 showed their class in the bowling department with a strong performance that ripped Afghanistan apart. Led by Ahmad Khan (3/21), the Pakistan bowlers routed Afghanistan for just 54. Barring Nangyalai Khan (15), no one managed to cross double figures. Ahmad was sensational, starting the proceedings with a run-out in the opening over. Zeeshan Zameer and Awais Ali picked up two wickets each, while captain Qasim Akram and Ali Asfand got one apiece.
Afghanistan put up a fight, bowling as well as Pakistan, with batters falling one after the other. Bilal Sami removed the first two wickets, while Noor Ahmed dismissed the middle three. Despite the constant strikes, a low target meant that Pakistan managed to hold their nerve and won by four wickets in the 17th over.
India v UAE, 23 December
The opening match of the U19 Asia Cup was a belter with India securing a comprehensive 154-run victory over UAE. Led by Harnoor Singh's brilliant 120, a solid 63 from captain Yash Dhull and a handy 48 from Rajvardhan Hangargekar, India put up a competitive 282/5 on board. Despite using nine bowlers, UAE could not stop the run-flow. In reply, UAE got off a good start with opener Kai Smith looking good. But apart from his 70-ball 45, no other player crossed 21 runs. Hangargekar excelled with the ball as well, picking up 3/24 while Garv Sangwan, Vicky Ostwal and Kaushal Tambe picked up two wickets each. UAE were eventually bowled out for 128 in the 35th over.
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