U-19 World Cup: India outclass Bangladesh, set up semifinal clash with Australia

Indian colts
Indian players are ecstatic after the fall of a Bangladeshi batter. Photo: Twitter/BCCI

Coolidge (Antigua): Left-arm seamer Ravi Kumar bowled a sensational opening spell as India's 'class of 2022' exacted a sweet revenge, ousting defending champions Bangladesh by five wickets to enter the semifinals of the ICC U-19 World Cup here on Saturday.

India will meet Australia in the semifinal on Wednesday, having won an unprecedented seven out of nine U-19 World Cup quarterfinals.

Son of a CRPF personnel, the Uttar Pradesh-born Ravi, who has followed in the footsteps of his illustrious state senior Mohammed Shami to ply his trade for Bengal, ended with excellent figures of 7-1-14-3 on a tacky track as Bangladesh were all out for 111 in 37.1 overs.

Bangladesh were 56/7 at one stage before S M Mehrob (30) and Ashiqur Zaman (16) added 50 for the eighth wicket to take the team past 100-run mark. In reply, India chased down the target in 30.5 overs with opener Angkrish Raghuvanshi's 44 being the top-score.

Skipper Yash Dhull scored an unbeaten 20 and his deputy Shaik Rasheed made 26 as the victory was even more satisfying considering the youngsters came back without any training post recovery from COVID-19.

It was a fitting reply from the 'Boys in Blue' to the 'Tiger Cubs' after their senior batch lost an ill-tempered final of 2020 edition which was followed by boorish behaviour from both sides.

For the current batch, the win was also necessary after they were beaten twice by this same side last year during a four-nation event in Kolkata.

India won a good toss and Ravi made full use of the moisture underneath with initial movement in the air helping team's cause.

Ravi, who has the natural ability to bring the ball back into right-handers, had right-handed Mahfijul Islam (2) beaten all-ends up to an inswinger in the second over.

His opening partner left-handed Iftakher Hossain (1) was done in by the slowness of the track as he tried to square cut and was held at point by vice-captain Shaikh Rasheed.

One drop batter Prantik Nawrose (7) was not at all comfortable during his stay and was late into the drive to a delivery that swung away only to offer a catch to Kaushal Tamble in the slips.

At 14/3 in the eighth over, there was no coming back for Bangladesh boys as they started losing wickets at regular intervals.

Left-arm spinner Vicky Ostwal (9-1-25-2) was consistent as ever with his flight and dip which was not very easy for the opposition batters.

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