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Saturday, January 1, 2022

India wins U19 Cricket Asia Cup

The good news is India has won U19 Asia Cup – Pathirana delivered a yorker, which was neatly dispatched by Angkrish Raghuvanshi.  Heard these names before ? 

Everyone would appreciate the tactical brilliance of King Mahendra Singh Dhoni - Chennai Super Kings (CSK) clearly were not the favourites though they outperformed expectations in both legs of IPL 2021.  CSK franchise after the auction, added uncapped Sri Lankan cricketers Matheesha Pathirana and Maheesh Theekshana ! 

Matheesha Pathirana had been in news earlier – those seeing him would feel that Slinga Malinga perhaps bowled more of over the arms .. .. last time in 2020 U19 WC,  Sri Lanka slumped to a 90-run defeat in the opener of the tournament, Pathirana’s delivery brought the Lankans a record. In the fourth over of India’s innings, who   the 17-year-old pitched the ball short which went past Jaiswal’s right shoulder and behind to the wicketkeeper.  It was  clocked 108 mph on the speed gun (a sensational 175 kmph)!!, but later it was revealed that the reading turned out to be a technical error.


Today,  at Dubai there was no magic.  Srilanka won the toss, took the wrong decision of batting first and tottered at 106/9 when rain stopped play.  India scored the revised tgarget of 102 with ease with 63 balls remaining.   Lankan wickets kept tumbling from 4/1; 37/4; 57/7 and 9th wicket fell at 106 !  following that disciplined bowling, a neat innings by  Raghuvanshi who collected a half-century,  helped India clinch their eighth U19 Asia Cup title at the Dubai International Stadium.   Vicky Ostwal picked  three wickets including two in a single over.   The rain-marred final was reduced to 38 overs after a two-hour interruption. In eight editions of the U-19 Asia Cup, India have now won it eight times, which includes a shared trophy in 2012. – do you know the only other winner – it is Afganisthan !!! 

The Asia Cup Under-19 Asia Cup is a cricket tournament organised by the ACC for Under-19 teams from its member nations. It was first held in 1989 in Bangladesh where India won the tournament. The second edition was played after 14 years in 2003 in Pakistan where India retained their title The 3rd edition was played in Malaysia in 2012 where the trophy was shared by India and Pakistan after the final was tied. The fourth edition was held in 2013/14 in UAE which was won by India. The fifth edition was held in Sri Lanka in December 2016 and was won by India too. The sixth edition was held in November 2017 in Malaysia, which was won by Afghanistan by 185 run from Pakistan. The seventh edition was held in September & October 2018 in Bangladesh, which was won by India by 144 run from Sri Lanka. The eight edition was held in September 2019 in Sri Lanka & India retained their title.   

For those interested, in 1989 – the Indian U19 squad was : Dhruva Pandove, Ajay Jadeja, Vinod Kambli, Ranjib Biswal ©, Prince Sourav Ganguly, Bhupinder Singh, Ashish Kapoor, Abbas Ali Khan+, Jatin Paranjape, Samir Mehra & Gyanendra Pandey. 

In 2nd edition 2003 – the team was : Robin Uthappa, Shivakant Shukla, Rakesh Solanki, Ambati Rayudu ©,  Suresh Raina, Avinash Yadav, Sunny Singh, Dinesh Karthik †, Irfan Pathan, Piyush Chawla & Vikram Singh 

Today, the team was : Angkrish Raghuvanshi, Harnoor Singh, Shaikh Rasheed, Nishant Sindhu, Yash Dhull (c), Raj Bawa, Kaushal Tambe, Aaradhya Yadav †, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Vicky Ostwal &  Ravi Kumar. 

The first Asia cup (not U19) was held in 1984 in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates where the council's offices were based (until 1995).  The inaugural version was won by India  – there were only 3 matches.  India defeated Sri Lanka and Pakistan with Surinder Khanna being the hero and Lanka defeated Pak in the other match.  Incidentally Kapil Dev did not play – Sunil Gavaskar was the Captain. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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