- Media Release
U19 CWC 2024 Day 7 Round-up: India, Australia knock off big wins to top respective groups
- Breaking News
India move to the top of the World Test Championship standings
Former Bangladesh captain talks possible return to national side
Andrew Balbirnie hopes maiden Test win will inspire next generation
Musheer Khan stole headlines on Thursday with a smashing hundred, combining with captain Uday Saharan in a 156-run partnership as India beat Ireland comprehensively to consolidate their position at the top of Group A table. In the bowling department, left-arm quick Naman Tiwari and Saumy Pandey excelled, sharing seven wickets between them.
In Kimberley, Harry Dixon and Hugh Weibgen scored half-centuries and Tom Campbell went berserk in the final few overs as Australia put up a tall total before the bowlers produced another brilliant performance and bowled out Zimbabwe for 71.
Australia beat Zimbabwe by 225 runs in Kimberley
Australia 296/7 (50 overs) v Zimbabwe 71 (23.2 overs)
Opting to bat first in Kimberley, which had notably produced low-scoring games in the tournament so far, Australia got off to a promising start in the Powerplay.
Harry Dixon and Sam Konstas reeled off seven boundaries in the first 10 overs, mixing caution with good intent.
The first breakthrough didn't come until the 19th over when off-spinner Brendon Sunguro came around the wicket to the right-handed Konstas and cleaned him up by piercing the gap between bat and pad.
Hugh Weibgen, who had played a key role in Australia’s win over Namibia in a low-scoring affair earlier in the week at the same venue, walked in and teamed up with Dixon to pile on the runs.
Boundaries flooded for Australia post Konstas’ dismissal as Dixon and Weibgen took the attack to Zimbabwe. Dixon looked set for a hundred, but Sunguro returned to bowl him for 89 to give Zimbabwe a wicket against the run of play.
Harjas Singh was run out soon after and Ryan Simbi dismissed Weibgen after he made a run-a-ball 68.
With Ryan Hicks and Aidan O’Connor dismissed soon after, Zimbabwe had made a comeback of sorts, but any hope of restricting the Aussies in the death overs was quashed by Tom Campbell.
His cameo helped Australia smash 45 runs off the last three overs, including 21 in the final over. Campbell finished unbeaten on 47 off 28 balls as Australia made 296/7 in 50 overs.
The Aussies came out all guns blazing with the ball, reducing Zimbabwe to 3 for 3 inside the first three overs. Mahli Beardman took the new ball this game, unlike the last, and made an instant impact with two wickets in his opening over.
Charlie Anderson bowled Campbell MacMillan in the next over as three of the top four batters fell for a duck.
Just as Zimbabwe were trying to consolidate, a run-out brought another wicket for Australia as the impressive Konstas produced a direct hit that caught Nathaniel Hlabangana short.
Ronak Patel and Sunguro rebuilt for Zimbabwe but Harkirat Bajwa’s mystery spin kept the run-scoring on a leash. O'Connor soon reaped the benefits at the other end as Sunguro fell for 12.
It was the opening Bajwa needed and the spinner snared the next three wickets to leave Zimbabwe on the brink of a loss. O’Connor sent back Patel, the only batter to offer some resistance, for 36 and Bajwa took the final wicket to finish with figures of 4/15.
Australia, like Sri Lanka, now have two wins in two games in Group C. Zimbabwe will now play Namibia in a virtual eliminator in the final game of the group.
Player of the Match Harry Dixon expressed that taking his time to settle in was crucial to his match-winning knock.
“It was a bit of a tricky start, it was about knowing your skills and backing yourself to catch up at the back end of the innings by digging in for a few overs. I think batting time was actually key on that wicket.”
India beat Ireland by 201 runs in Bloemfontein
India 301/7 (50 overs) v Ireland 100 (29.4 overs)
Put in to bat at the Mangaung Oval, India made the most of the good batting conditions against Ireland.
John McNally dismissed the Indian openers Adarsh Singh and Arshin Kulkarni after the two got off to starts, but Uday Saharan and Musheer Khan combined in what turned out to be a game-changing partnership.
The duo started off slowly, scoring the first boundary after more than 10 overs into the partnership, but runs came thick and fast from there as the two showcased their range of strokes.
Musheer brought up his fifty in the 34th over and Saharan followed suit soon after, making it four fifties in four outings (including two in the warm-up games) at the tournament. Both batters moved across to the off-side to exploit the fine-leg region with scoop shots.
Saharan couldn't convert his half-century to a bigger knock as he fell attempting one of those scoop shots that had brought him success. The lack of pace and timing in the shot saw Saharan hole out for 75.
Musheer went on to complete his hundred off as many balls and raced to 118 off 106 balls before attempting a risky double that saw him finish short of the crease as the keeper took off the bails.
Sachin Dhas hit two fours and a six in the final over before Oliver Riley wrapped up the innings with two wickets in two balls. India had enough by then, though, finishing on 301/7.
Ireland openers got off to a careful start against India's new-ball bowlers Naman Tiwari and Dhanush Gowda, so Saharan turned to Saumy Pandey’s spin for the breakthrough.
The left-arm spinner struck immediately, bowling Jordan Neill with a peach that turned past the outside edge to crash into the stumps.
With the opening created, Tiwari started banging the ball into the wicket to generate extra bounce. The ploy worked as Ryan Hunter holed out attempting a pull stroke off a short ball. Skipper Philippe le Roux nicked one behind the same over as Ireland slipped further.
Another short ball next over brought Tiwari his third as Scott MacBeth perished. Aravelly Avanish produced a sharp stumping next over off Pandey as Ireland were reduced 41/5.
Wickets continued to tumble as Ireland lost five wickets, one in each over, between overs 11 and 15. Murugan Abhishek, like in the last game, took a stunning catch at point to dismiss McNally. With Tiwari sending back the in-form Kian Hilton, India had asserted complete dominance.
Daniel Forkin and Riley hung around to delay India's win, adding a few runs in a steady partnership. Abhishek broke the stand by trapping Riley in front by coming around the wicket. Saharan took the final wicket as India completed a 201-run victory.
Tiwari finished with four wickets and Pandey three as India completed a massive victory in Bloemfontein to make it two wins out of two.
India will take on USA next on January 28, while Ireland complete their group schedule with one win in three games. If USA lose their matches against Bangladesh and India, Ireland will go through to the Super Six stage.
Player of the Match Musheer commented on how his batting style was similar to his brother, Sarfaraz Khan, who also made a hundred for India A against England Lions today in an unofficial Test match.
“We have similar styles of batting [Sarfaraz and I]. It was really nice to score a hundred and I hope to keep contributing from the middle-order. The six over mid-wicket was my favourite shot during this knock.”