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Friday, January 19, 2018

Indian youngster Kamlesh Nagarkoti ripped at 149 kmph !!!

With so much of Cricket played around, one can be pardoned for not watching or following up this Group C match of  Vijay Hazare Trophy at Chennai on  Feb 28 2017. This youngster born on 28.12.1999 from Barmer Rajasthan hit headlines - Kamlesh Lachham Nagarkoti took a hat-trick.

The 2018 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup is currently being held in New Zealand from 13 January to 3 February 2018. It is the twelfth edition of the Under-19 Cricket World Cup, and the third to be held in New Zealand. 

India is in Group alongside Australia, Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe.  The matches of this group are played at Lincoln town in the Selwyn District, in the Canterbury Region of New Zealand's South Island. Lincoln is a satellite town of Christchurch;  India however played all its matches at   Mount Maunganui, located on a peninsula to the north-east of Tauranga's city centre. It was an independent town from Tauranga until the completion of the Tauranga Harbour Bridge in 1988, which connects Mount Maunganui to Tauranga's central business district.

Indians in an impressive performance first beat Australia by 100 runs.  Then PNG made on6 64 and Indians reached that target without losing a wicket – won with 252 balls to spare.  Captain Prithvi Shaw made unbeater 57 off 39 balls with 12 boundaries.  Manjot Kalra got to face just 9 balls. 

Today it was Prithvi Shaw and Manjot Kalra opening but the result was not any different.  India Under-19 155 for 0 (Gill 90*, Desai 56*) beat Zimbabwe Under-19154 all out (Shumba 36, Roche 31, Roy 4-20) by 10 wickets.  Another day, another lopsided contest. India exhibited their batting depth in making light work of Zimbabwe to maintain an all-win record in the group stages. This meant India will enjoy a week off and play their knockout clash, in all likelihood against Bangladesh, in Queenstown on January 26.

With little or no pressure to contend with, India's openers of the day treated the 155 chase as an extended net session. Shubman Gill displayed his punch and power by strolling to a 36-ball half-century, with his stability and strong bottom-hand in playing the short-arm jab for six over deep midwicket being the standout. With a few more runs to knock off, he may have had a crack at becoming India's first centurion in the tournament. He finished 90 not out courtesy 14 fours and a six.

In the first match against stronger opponent, uit was  meant to be a trial by spin for Australia. Instead, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi, the Indian quicks, were zipping and hooping the ball under Tauranga's night sky at over 140kph. The speed gun, the calibration of which varies from broadcaster to broadcaster, pegged Nagarkoti's fastest ball at 149kph. Mavi's fastest ball was just a shade slower at 146kph. Irrespective of whether this was accurate or not, watching them run in with intensity and flatten the stumps repeatedly was quite a sight.

One could easily be tempted into saying that these youngsters be withdrawn from this tournament and made to join the team at South Africa straightaway.  However, in SA, Indian bowlers are doing well having taken 40 victories in less than normal score – but it is the batsmen who have let down the team badly.

At Chepauk, in Feb 2017, in that Vijay Hazare match,  17-year old medium pacer Kamlesh Nagarkoti took the first-ever List A hat-trick for Rajasthan that helped them defend 183 for a 14-run winagainst Gujarat. Gujarat were 152 for 5 - just 32 short of the target - when Nagarkoti made his first strike. They were eventually bowled out for 169, with Nagarkoti having taken 3 for 30 in seven overs. Nagarkoti also came good with the bat as his unbeaten half-century lifted Rajasthan from 54 for 6. Along with Arijit Gupta (69), he helped add 86 for the seventh wicket and finished not out on 56.

However, there is some darkness too – in June, Nagarkoti experienced some pain in his shoulder after the pair had picked up 16 out of the 20 wickets in a green top against England in Chesterfield. After the tour, a scan revealed a tear that needed at least three months to heal. Time spent in rehabilitation at the NCA in Bengaluru made Nagarkoti anxious,  and now he is bowling faster in New Zealand.   Mavi, who comes from Noida, had the experience of bowling in the Afghanistan nets during their training in Greater Noida to bank on, courtesy Lalchand Rajput, the former national coach, who facilitated the sessions. He has also benefitted from a number of Afghanistan's inter-squad matches.

We look forward to this two youngsters - Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi to come blazing in future.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
19th Jan 2018.

Photo and news credit : espncricinfo.

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