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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

India beats Australia -moves into Semis - U19 WC 2020 @ Potchefstroom

Voortrekkers trekked long  and fought battles too.  Their  initial area of settlement extends too far south – south of Thaba Nchu and what would become Bloemfontein.  The Great Trek was an eastward migration of Dutch-speaking settlers who travelled by wagon trains from the Cape Colony into the interior of modern South Africa from 1836 onwards, seeking to live beyond the Cape’s British colonial administration. The Great Trek resulted from the culmination of tensions between rural descendants of the Cape's original European settlers, known collectively as Boers, and the British Empire.  It was also responsible for the displacement of the Northern Ndebele people, and was one of several decisive factors influencing the decline and collapse of the Zulu Empire.

Today while having my dinner, watched the game as India appeared leading as Aussies skied from 64/4 to 5.  A frail looking fielder chased the ball, dived full length and tried digging in the ball back at cover boundary, a couple balls later, he was fully air-borne a la Jhonty Rhodes at point.  It was Ravi Bishnoi, an electrifying fielder – a   legspinner who can also bat lower down the order. 

Then there was another bowler Kartik Tyagi, touching 140s with a good run up and delivering them in style.  He was the player of the match.  He has a very humble background.  A member of a poor farming family, Kartik and his father Yogendra faced a lot of hardships early on to get him proper cricket training. As a teenager, the lanky seamer’s used to transport sacks of agricultural produce from his father’s farm in Hapur and that is how he gained strength in his arms. As a 17-year-old Kartik performed exceptionally in the Under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy and was thereafter slotted into Uttar Pradesh’s Ranji Trophy team. Thereafter, he bowled his team to victory against defending champions Vidarbha.

There was great action in match no. 1 – Quarterfinals between Champion teams – India and Australia. Super League Quarter-Final 1, ICC Under-19 World Cup was today played at Potchefstroom. Potchefstroom  is an academic city in the North West Province of South Africa. It  is on the Mooi Rivier (Afrikaans for "pretty (or beautiful) river"), roughly 120 km (75 mi) west-southwest of Johannesburg and 45 km (28 mi) east-northeast of Klerksdorp. Some attribute the name as having come from the word 'Potscherf', meaning a shard of a broken pot, due to the cracks that appear in the soil of the Mooi River Valley during drought resembling a broken pot".

Today, India put in struggled but contrived to make 233/9 and bowl out Australia for 159 finishing the match in 43.3 overs.  Opener Jaiswal, scoring his third fifty in four World Cup games, combined in a 48-run fourth-wicket with Siddhesh Veer, but he was bowled by Sangha's legspin just after the team crossed 100 in the 26th over. Murphy then deceived wicketkeeper-batsman Jurel with a loopy delivery that took his outside edge to take his second wicket, and when Veer's attempted pull was top-edged to third man, India were at 144 for 6 with 12 overs to go.  At that stage, it looked like India wouldn't last the full 50 overs with Australia's bowlers having exposed the lower order, but allrounder Atharva Ankolekar got together with Bishnoi to drag India past 200. Bishnoi, who made 30 in 31 balls, was eventually run-out in the 48th over with India searching for quick runs, but Ankolekar provided a flourishing finish for India, reaching his half-century with a six in the last over.

Ankolekar and Bishnoi ran their twos hard and found the occasional boundaries. Their 61-run stand for the seventh wicket came in 59 deliveries and raised India's run-rate significantly. In their last two overs, Ankolekar and the last two batsmen scored 24 runs and India finished on 233 for 9. India had wrested the momentum from Australia by the end of the innings and after Tyagi's three wickets in the first two overs of the chase, they always remained ahead in the game.  In their chase of 234, Australia received a punch to the gut right at the start, when their in-form opener Jake Fraser-McGurk was run-out for a diamond duck. After that India's right-arm quick Kartik Tyagi delivered three blows in his first two overs to put Australia down for the count which they couldn't ever recover from, eventually losing to the defending champions by 74 runs at the first quarter-final in Potchefstroom. India's win sets them up for a semi-final clash against the winners of the quarter-final between Afghanistan and Pakistan, while Australia can now, at best, finish fifth in the tournament.

Tyagi, consistently clocking speeds in upwards of 135kph, bowled very well.  His first delivery was driven by Sam Fanning to mid-off, but he took off for a single while Fraser-McGurk was watching the ball and as a result was run-out without facing a ball. By the end of the over, Australia's misery had compounded thrice over, with their captain Mackenzie Harvey lbw to a full delivery - although it pitched outside leg stump - and Lachlan Hearne bowled for a first-ball duck to Tyagi's yorker. In  his second spell, Tyagi dismissed  Patrick Rowe in the 21st over as his fourth scalp, to reduce the batting side to 68 for 5.    Fanning and No. 7 Liam Scott - who wasn't in the XI but was batting as a concussion substitute following Corey Kelly's injury while fielding - put on 81 for the sixth wicket. The score of 149 for 6, however, soon became 155 for 9 following a team hat-trick and in the end India won comfortably.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th Jan 2020.

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