East London: India Under-19 team produced an impressive all-round performance to begin its tour of South Africa with a comfortable nine-wicket win in the first Youth ODI at the Buffalo Park.
Batting first, South Africa U-19 team folded for 187 in 48.3 overs. In reply, India dished out a solid batting display to overhaul the target, scoring 190 for 1 in 42.3 overs on Thursday to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
South Africa's decision to bat first backfired as their batsmen failed to convert the starts into big scores with Luke Beaufort top-scoring with a 91-ball 64.
For India U-19 team, Ravi Bishnoi scalped three wickets, while Kartik Tyagi, Shubhang Hegde and Atharva Ankolekar picked up two wickets each.
Chasing the target, openers Divyaansh Saxena (86 not out) and N Tilak Varma (59) shared a 127-run stand to take the game away from South Africa.
Once Varma was dismissed by Achille Cloete, Saxena, who blasted 11 fours in his 116-ball knock, and Kumar Kushagra (43 not out) helped India romp home with 7.3 overs to spare.
India and South Africa will meet again in the second match of the series on Saturday.
Brief Scores: India U-19: 190/1 (Divyaansh Saxena 86, N Tilak Varma 59; Achille Cloete 1/42) beat South Africa U-19: 187 all out (Luke Beaufort 64, Jack Lees 27; Ravi Bishnoi 3/36) by nine wickets.
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Post the 2020 Under-19 World Cup, some of India’s star performers will become household names and may even go on to earn 8-figure salaries. Others may just get to play first-class cricket and may soon be forgotten.
The Aussies might not have seen it coming. Some in the Indian camp, too, might not have seen it coming. Try telling Atharva Ankolekar and Kartik Tyagi that.
Kartik's four wickets came after India recovered through Atharva Ankolekar's combative half-century to reach 233 for nine, a modest total which the holders defended in impressive fashion.