India v Pakistan, Under-19 World Cup 2014, Dubai February 15, 2014

Hooda's five-for gives India 40-run win

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India Under-19s 262 for 7 (Sarfaraz 74, Samson 68) beat Pakistan Under-19s 222 (Aslam 64*, Hooda 5-41) by 40 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The first marquee clash of the Under-19 World Cup went India's way in Dubai, thanks to their middle-order reliability and all-round ability. Sarfaraz Khan's 74 was crucial in getting India to a competitive 262, and if that wasn't enough, his four catches and a wicket, and Deepak Hooda's five-wicket haul ensured that Pakistan didn't have an inch of clawing back, despite a steady beginning to the chase. After losing both their warm-ups, India finally hit their straps when it mattered against their toughest opponents in the group.

Despite the final victory margin of 40 runs, the defending champions were tested. Contrasting half-centuries by Sarfaraz and Sanju Samson rescued India from frittering away an aggressive start. Their stand of 119 was the difference between a below-par total and a competitive one on a second-day Dubai pitch that turned and required concentration from the batsmen.

At 94 for 4 in the 20th over, India looked in danger of folding up for less than 262, until Samson and Sarfaraz began the rescue act. It was a partnership that played out in two gears. Both took their time to size up the conditions, assess the situation and act accordingly. Both paced their innings differently. While Samson dropped anchor and ensured one end remained steady, Sarfaraz was given the licence to look for boundaries.

And Sarfaraz didn't restrain himself. He compulsively swept the spinners and was largely successful in finding the gaps. After remaining scoreless for his first 15 deliveries and surviving a dropped chance at slip, he traded the bat for a broom. His first scoring shot was a sweep off the left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar and he continued finding spaces on the on side against all four spinners. He had a close call, though, when he miscued a slog that dropped in front of deep square leg.

The long boundaries meant that the pair was kept busy with the singles. Samson had earlier infused life into the innings when he charged the legspinner Karamat Ali and launched him over long-on. From then on, he was content at grafting his way through, giving Sarfaraz the option to play his shots without worry. Following that six in the 24th over, Samson's next boundary came in the 38th, when he lofted Zia-ul-Haq over cover. Sarfaraz brought up his fifty with a six over long-on, off Zia. He had made up for his slow start, needing just 60 balls for his landmark.

The batting Powerplay was a productive period for India, as both players used their feet against the spinners to loft inside out over the covers to take 36 runs off that block of overs. Pakistan finally had a breakthrough when Sarfaraz mis-hit Gohar over cover and was caught. Samson too was caught, off a top edge and when the pair had departed, India were at a more secure 229 for 6 after 45.1 overs. That helped India pass 250, which in these conditions could prove to be challenging as the tournament progresses.

Some tight bowling by India's opening bowlers kept the Pakistan openers on a leash. Pakistan's first boundary came in the ninth over, off the left-arm seamer Chama Milind, and a few boundaries down the ground helped the openers, Sami Aslam and Imam-ul-Haq, find their groove. They focused on building steadily, looking to set a foundation. Aslam looked comfortable against the spinners and reached his fifty with a slogged four off Kuldeep Yadav.

They took the score to 109 in the 24th over and appeared in a more favourable position. The offspinner Aamer Gani got the first breakthrough when Imam gave the charge and found Sarfaraz at long-off. Though the pace of the partnership wasn't electric, India looked desperate for a wicket and Sarfaraz's celebration was an indication of relief, having finally broken through.

The biggest blow to Pakistan, though, was Aslam's departure. Having primed himself for batting through the innings, he set off from the non-striker's end for a risky single, turned back but couldn't beat Vijy Zol's throw from the off side. Suddenly, Pakistan had two new batsmen at the crease but were still very much in the game, with a required rate of 6.12.

A series of mistakes contributed to Pakistan's slide. Hasan Raza stayed back to a delivery from Sarfaraz that kept low and was bowled. Two balls later, Kamran Ghulam was struggling to make his ground to the bowler's end and was run-out off a direct hit. Bizarrely, the bowler Sarfaraz had accidentally knocked off one bail with his arm before collecting the throw but to his luck, Hooda's throw knocked down the other bail and Ghulam was deemed run-out. Pakistan lacked a power hitter in the lower order to get them going with the asking rate. Hooda ran through the lower order as they looked to hit out.

Pakistan had their moments in both innings where they took control. But they failed to sustain it long enough and Aslam conceded that his side should not have let the initiative slip in the chase. "We were in a very good position while we were chasing and we should never have lost the game from there," Aslam said.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jeevpaul on February 17, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    I feel the Indian players looks very matured on the field, except sarfraz, very show off kind of behavior, he is a kid anyway.. these days Pakistani teams (S &U19) missing that PUNCH, once they use to show at least against indians in 80's.

  • dummy4fb on February 16, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    Hats off to Sanju's sensible batting and Sarfaraz's scoring shots. I feel Sanju's matured inning is the main reason for Sarfaraz's batting. Sanju took off all the self-created pressure by Indian batsmen and steadied the innings. Great to see such a strong mental strength in Sanju Samson.

  • DanielRob on February 16, 2014, 6:06 GMT

    Congrats India for this win.. what surprised me was the fact that the Indian seamers bowled at better speeds than Pakistani seamers...Both Indian seamers clocked 135+ regularly on that pitch which was slow and low and assisted spin...Good speeds for these young lads.. keep bowling quicker and quicker...but also..Pakistan has better spin arsenal than the Indians... Both Gohar and Karamat bowled very tight line and dint concede too many runs..Hugely impressed by them..Pakistan has by far the best spin attack in this tournament and i wont be surprised if this spin due take Pakistan to the finals because of the slow nature of the wickets in this tournament... Pakistan has to improve their batting a wee bit..certainly they have talent in batting.. if they post 230+ totals in every match then it would b tough for oppositions to chase them..Both Ind n Pak are favorites to win this U19 WC..

  • dummy4fb on February 16, 2014, 2:28 GMT

    Four factors that played the major role in this defeat against India:

    (1) Given away too many runs, specially pacers were not up to the mark, both opening pacers given away runs @7.50/Over, very poor bowling.

    (2) Come on, chasing 262, run rate right from the start should have been 5 in the first 20 years but it was always short.

    (3) I could not find a single hard hitter in the whole team who at needy time could have gone in & increase the run rate. All Pakistani batsmen definitely needed some power injections, they were struggling to hit fours.

    (4) same old story, coach was sitting like a bamboo stick with nice fancy glasses but no pen or pencil in his hand to make notes, poor match planning both on bowling and batting, if this the case, Pakistan will struggling to reach final but still all the best in the coming games

  • BangbangKohli on February 16, 2014, 1:32 GMT

    @bul98, take a chill pill, India is two time world champion, twice champion trophy and Benson and Hedges cup in 1985, where Pakistan won the world cup only once, and India ranked #1 and test cricket and #! in ODI, so don't even go there! Congrats again men in Blue, win the cup again, good luck!

  • dummy4fb on February 15, 2014, 21:38 GMT

    @ Naveed Khan, I would like to think that Pakistan would win the World Cup but since the matches are in Dubai with supposedly batting friendly conditions, the chances for Pakistan are low due to the eternal problem of Pakistan batting. If Pak can bat really good in the big games then other teams would certainly have to play out of their skins to beat them as Pak bowling is near excellent at all levels.

  • dummy4fb on February 15, 2014, 21:34 GMT

    As a Pakistani fan, I have to give it to India that somehow they absorb pressure better than Pakistani players in the WC matches between the two countries, whether senior or Under 19 teams. Though overall, Pakistan may have better of the Indian team but somehow Pak teams finds a way to lose a WC match to India. Hopefully, the correction will start from WC in 2015.

  • rezauk on February 15, 2014, 21:33 GMT

    nikhil_indian_fan

    Wise words - Nice to see somebody appreciatiing their team and being modest in Victory.

    Do agree with you - Exposure of India to IPL and professional setup for fielding and today backed by good bowling makes a huge difference.

    I'm always disappointed with Pakistan's running between the wickets because more often then not they amble singles not putting any pressure on fielders to make mistakes. I was also taught (at achool) that when running between the wickets if the ball goes behind the facing batsmen it's the call of the non striker and vice versa in front of the wicket. This to me seems a very simple plan which has worked fine for me (run out once) . Just listen to your partners call.

  • nikhil_indian_fan on February 15, 2014, 19:42 GMT

    well played INDIA !!! great performance. we must give credit to our domestic competitions and the IPL. our younger players have far more exposure to world class players and pressure and that shows in the international competitions. pakistan could have easily won this match but in a pressure match its all about nerves and our boys held their nerves. i hope we win this cup also.

  • dummy4fb on February 15, 2014, 19:22 GMT

    I loved the attitude of these players....they never gave up....most important of all, the fast bowlers were pitching balls in the right areas, which is a welcome sign for India.

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