India v New Zealand, U19 World Cup, Dhaka February 18, 2004

Sunny Singh shines for India

Wisden Cricinfo staff

India U19 215 (Singh 68*, Findlay 4-36) beat New Zealand U19 146 (Watling 55) by 69 runs

Sunny Singh during his unbeaten 68

India won their second match of the Under-19 World Cup with what was, in the end, a comfortable 69-run win against New Zealand. Sunny Singh kept India A on track after a shaky start to help them post 215 before New Zealand slumped to 146 all out in their doomed run chase.

The New Zealand bowlers began brightly as Brent Findlay ripped away India's top-middle order to reduce them to 86 for 5. But Singh, who was dropped three times, came to India's rescue with a well-paced 68 not out, including seven fours. He added 66 with Gaurav Dhiman, who made a brisk 38.

New Zealand's reply never got going, despite a steady 55 from the captain Bradley-John Watling. Wickets were shared around by the Indian bowlers, and as the batsmen fell at regular intervals, the New Zealand lower order failed to cope with the pressure. The last six wickets fell for only 14 runs as India went top of Group C.

Robin Singh, India's coach, said afterwards that he believes his side can still improve. "The team could have scored 260 to 270 runs. The pitch was a good batting strip but the batsmen played too many loose shots," he said. "The bowlers bowled well, but there is still scope for improvement - the spinners bowled too fast."

Singh, who was named Man of the Match, said, "I was lucky, I was given two or three lives. I capitalized on the dropped chances and initially concentrated on taking singles. I was pleased with the final result."