U-19 World Cup: India thrash PNG to book quarter-final berth
Young Sanju Samson's sensational blitz with the bat propelled India Under-19s to a massive 245-run win over Papua New Guinea Under-19s at Sharjah on Wednesday, the victory margin being India's 7th highest in youth ODI history.
India were off to a positive start after electing to bat first, with openers Ankush Bains and Akhil Herwadkar (37) putting up a 50-run stand inside 12 overs. PNG then got a breakthrough as Herwadkar holed out to deep square leg. Bains (58) continued the rampage, bringing up his half-century alongside captain Vijay Zol (35), who accelerated after a cautious start. The duo added 74 runs for the 2nd wicket, before Zol was bowled through the gates. Bains followed and India were 139/3 in the 33rd over.
India took the Batting Powerplay after the 35th over and it was only a while before Sanju Samson rolled out his masterclass, hitting Gebai for 2 sixes and 5 fours in his 2 overs. Shreyas Iyer supported well at the other end, as India looted 54 runs in their Powerplay overs. More drama ensued when Samson struck 2 more fours and 3 more sixes, all this while being dropped thrice in 2 overs and also added 116 runs with Iyer. His blistering innings finally ended in the 47th over, where Sarfaraz Khan took over with an 18-ball 34. India posted 301/6 in 50 overs.
PNG's response to a steep chase was a poor 56. Monu Kumar struck straightaway in his 1st over, reducing them to 3/2. The middle order restored some normalcy, before chinaman Kuldeep Yadav unleashed himself, grabbing figures of 4/10. PNG were already down and out, and were dealt their final blow as they lost six wickets for just 4 runs.
With this win, India are now placed atop Group A and have qualified for the quarter-finals along with Pakistan Under-19s, who registered a 146-run win over Scotland Under-19s in Dubai.