August 11, 2000

West Indies champs, India win Plate final

The Indian Under-15 team might have lost out in the race to the World Championship title but will return home contented after having won the Consolation Plate event by scoring a resounding eight wicket win over Sri Lanka in the final. The Plate event was conducted for the losing semifinalists, as part of the Costcutter World Under-15 Challenge in England.

Champions in 1996, India had a comfortable outing on the Wellington College ground. They first shot out Sri Lanka for just 82 runs in 30 overs. The wreckers-in-chief were Mrigen Talukdar with three for 22 and Irfan Pathan with four for 13. Tushar Saha chipped in with a two wicket haul while giving away only 13 runs.

The Sri Lankan batsmen fared badly and were tottering at 39 for four before Ferveez Maharoof (28) defied the bowling for some time. Gihan de Silva (16) and Isuru Perera (12) were the only other Lankan batsmen to reach double digits.

Chasing a meagre target, India were given a resounding start with the in-form openers Abinav Kumar (41 not out) and Tirupati Ambati Rayudu (32) putting on 72 runs. India then lost Vasu Devadas (0) at the same score. But by then the contest was well and truly over. Abinav Kumar in the company of Sushil Kumar (3 not out) guided India past the Sri Lankan total.

Meanwhile West Indies, which sent India crashing out of the tournament in the last match of the league phase by virtue of a better net run rate, defeated Pakistan by two wickets in the final of the main event at Lord's on Thursday.

Put in to bat, Pakistan put up 175 on the board thanks chiefly to a fifth wicket partnership of 63 runs between Shahid Yousaf (46) and Zulqarnain (48). K Santokie (2 for 34) did the early damage for the West Indies and later H Punoo with figures of 2 for 32 in his ten overs and X Marshall with 2 for 27 in nine overs kept the pressure on Pakistan.

In reply, West Indies were off to a bad start losing opener Marshall (0) with only three runs on the board. Then L Simmons (24) and A Fudadin (55) put West Indies back on course with a third wicket stand worth 63 runs. But even as Shahid Yousaf struck thrice, West Indies were guided home by the ninth wicket pair of Santokie (13) and S Liburd (2).