The National, Friday February 21st, 2014
BY PETER PUSAL
PAPUA New Guinea (56 all out) suffered their worst defeat of the Under-19 Cricket World in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, when they went down by 245 runs to a rampant Indian side (301/6) at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
The one-sided loss wrapped up the Garamuts’ participation in the cup stakes at the tournament and sees sub-continent giants India and Pakistan, who also beat PNG on Monday, advance to the quarter-finals tomorrow.
The Hebou-sponsored Garamuts take on New Zealand in the ninth place play-off quarter-final on Sunday.
Of the 16 teams that started in the group stage on Valentine’s Day, the top eight comprising India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Australia, Afghanistan and South Africa will play for the ultimate prize while the bottom eight are all vying to finish ninth – the next best result for those out of contention after the group phase.
Indian captain Vijay Zol predictably elected to bat after winning the toss and the first six batsmen on the card made contributions to the eventual 301 score.
Sanju Samson’s 85 topped the individual runs list but every Indian that wielded the willow did so with intent and an almost casual dismissal of the opposition bowling.
Perhaps the most telling statistic from this match was that none of the Indian batsmen were able to go on to breach the century mark.
But with the openers to No.6 hitting the white ball so fluently in their stints at the crease, they could be forgiven for sharing the scoring around. Wicketkeeper Ankush Bains got proceedings off to a solid start with a 58-run first wicket stand with Akhil Herwadkar (37), who departed after heaving one to Raho Sam at deep midwicket.
Bains made the second highest score with a sedate 59 off 83 balls. He miscued a pull shot off medium pacer Alei Nao which went straight down the throat of Allan Joseph at leg gully in the 33rd over. Before that his captain Zol (35) was cleaned bowled by Nao as he tried to accelerate the scoring in the 31st over with 132/1 on the board. That did little to slow the Indian momentum as Samson showed a full array of strokes in his repertoire. Of course some wayward bowling also helped his cause. Samson blasted eight fours and six sixes in his 48-ball stay. Samson’s impatience more than anything saw his downfall as he spooned an improvised ramp shot to Joseph in the 43rd over.
Sarafaraz Khan went ballistic bludgeoning 34 off 18 in an unbeaten knock. His final-ball six to get India past 300 characterised his side’s dominance.
Nao was the pick of the PNG attack claiming respectable figures of 3-46 off 10 overs. Leg spinner Joseph (0-43) had his moments but they were far and few between as he struggled with his length. Sakavai Gebai picked up a two-for but was expensive (2-73) and vice-captain Morea (1-68) was the other wicket taker.
Faced with a run rate of 6.02 per over PNG quickly folded to be all out for 56 in the 29th over.
Riley Hekure managed 20 in what was otherwise a disappointing batting card that featured four ducks and five sub-10 scores.
Kuldeep Yadav, a left arm wrist spinner or chinaman in cricket parlance, thoroughly bamboozled PNG’s batsmen, bagging four wickets for just 10 runs. Monu Kumar (3-13), Deepak Hooda (2-5) and Aamir Gani (1-15) took the other wickets.