Abu Dhabi [UAE], December 24 (ANI): Opener Harnoor Singh cracked a century and guided India to a formidable total and outplay hosts UAE by 154 runs at the ICC Academy ground 1 on Thursday which was the opening day of the ninth edition of the ACC Under-19 Asia Cup.
India captain Yash Dhull hailed Harnoor Singh's knock and said the team wants to continue to perform in such a manner in the coming matches.
The captain after the match, as per BCCI said, "It was a brilliant century and we needed that to pile up a good score. I enjoyed batting with him too. I think we bowled, batted, and fielded well, and that has given us this win. We want to continue to perform in such a manner in the coming matches."
Singh carried his form from the recent Triangular Series in India where he had scored 111 against Bangladesh in Kolkata last month. He cracked 120 off 130 deliveries studded with 11 boundaries to help India post 282 for 5 in 50 overs. UAE could muster only 128 runs before the tight Indian bowling attack.
Commenting on the century, Player of the Match Harnoor Singh said, "It is a special feeling to get a century in the Asia Cup. Though I did hit a century last month in the Triangular series, I would rate this as more important. This knock is also special since I have been able to help my country get off to a good start in this tournament."
Earlier, UAE won the toss and elected to field. Host skipper Alishan Sharafu ran out Indian opener Angkrish Raghuvanshi for 2 in the third over. However, opener Harnoor Singh picked the gaps well, and along with one-drop Shaik Rasheed, accelerated the run flow. Singh reached his half-century in 57 balls. The pair put on 90 runs for the second wicket before Afzal Khan got his reward for his tight bowling. He had Rasheed caught by Soorya Satish for 35. Rasheed's knock which came off 60 balls had just one boundary.
Skipper Yash Dhull joined Singh and India went past the 150 run mark in 32 overs. Singh reached his century in 106 balls with ten boundaries. India's 200 runs came in the 42nd over and Dhull reached his half-century in 61 balls. In the 44th over, Sharafu ended Singh's fine knock by having him caught by Dhruv Parashar for 120. Singh and Dhull had recorded a 120 runs partnership in 130 balls for the third wicket. After Nishant Sindhu got run out for a duck, Sharafu ended Dhull's knock of 63 by trapping him leg before. His 63 came off 68 balls, and had four boundaries. Then Rajvardhan Hangargekar lifted India to formidable total of 282 for 5 through a quick unbeaten 48 off just 23 balls with six boundaries and two sixes.
Chasing the target, UAE found it tough to maintain the momentum before the tightIndian bowling. Though opener Kai Smith played confidently to hit 45 runs, the rest of the batsmen could not rise to the challenge. One drop Dhruv Parashar (19) and skipper Alishan Sharafu (11), despite settling down, could not covert their innings into a big knock.
Medium-pacer Garv Sangwan took the wickets of both Parashar and Sharafu. To make matters difficult for the UAE, Punya Mehra got run out for 6. Smith, who was batting fluently on 45, also got caught behind in the bowling of off-spinner Kaushal Tambe. When Tambe struck again to have Ali Naseer caught and bowled for a duck, UAE was struggling at 92 for 5. Medium-pacer Rajvardhan Hangargekar hastened their victory taking two quicks wickets of Nilansh Keswani for 3 and Adithya Shetty for one. Soorya Satish went for his shots and hit a quick 21 runs off 26 balls with four boundaries before he was trapped leg-before by left-arm spinner Vicky Oswal.
UAE skipper Alishan Sharafu feels the exposure against India will do them good.
"We feel that we bowled well against such a strong batting lineup. A total of 275 was a par score on this wicket. We should have batted better but we could not produce any partnerships. It was a good test of our skills. We will work on our shortcomings and put on a stronger performance in the coming matches," said Sharafu. (ANI)