England v India, U-19 World Cup quarter-final, Dubai February 22, 2014

England in semi-finals after final-over win


England Under-19s 222 for 7 (Duckett 61, Kuldeep 3-46) beat India Under-19s 221 for 8 (Hooda 68, Sarfaraz 52*, Fisher 3-55) by three wickets
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

An Under-19 World Cup quarter-final involving India goes down to the wire, by default. England's eighth-wicket pair of Rob Jones and Rob Sayer held their nerve in a stand of 23 to take them home in the final over in their chase of 222, knocking out defending champions India. England looked favourites to get home comfortably at one stage, with Ben Duckett leading the way with a fifty before India's spinners seized control. But it came down to the team with the more reliable lower-order depth as England booked their place in the semi-finals.

It was a match that ebbed and flowed. England's fast bowlers pinned India down to 24 for 4 before their lower order, led by Deepak Hooda and Sarfaraz Khan shored them up to a competitive 221. It was then a contest between England's batsmen and India's spinners. Duckett's handling of the slower bowlers gave England the confidence that they could pull a win after a shaky start, but a few false shots that found the fielders brought India back into the game.

Duckett ensured that England didn't buckle under pressure against India's three spinners by employing the reverse sweep. England took the Powerplay in the 19th over and Duckett took on Hooda's offspin by fetching two boundaries to third man with the reverse sweep. He meted out the same treatment to Yadav, too, reverse-sweeping him for a four in front of square.

Ed Barnard and Duckett had added a positive 76 for the fourth wicket before Barnard gave Aamir Gani the charge and holed out to long-on. A few overs later, Duckett took the gamble of giving Kuldeep Yadav the charge and lobbed the ball to cover. Taking on India's strike spinner wasn't the smartest thing to do at that stage and England needed a lower-order rescue of their own.

India had another opening when Will Rhodes was beaten for turn by Yadav, with his side in trouble at 148 for 6. An error of judgment in the outfield, though, gave England a foothold and perhaps ruined India's chances in the final analysis. Clarke, on 8, tried to clear long-on but Hooda ran forward too quickly and the ball ended up sailing over him and to the boundary. Clarke went on to score 42 and brought the match back in England's favour.

India used spin from both ends, even introducing the part-timer Sarfaraz to contain the runs. Clarke charged Gani and launched him over extra cover before slogging Yadav to deep midwicket. However, when he tried to repeat the shot in the same over, he miscued a slog and Vijay Zol took a running catch backwards.

It came down to 15 needed off 12 but India conceded a crucial boundary off the last ball of the 49th over to bring it to four off six balls. Hooda dished out a low full toss down the leg side which Jones swept to fine leg with the fielder up. Sayer finished the job the next ball with a slash over point, sparking off wild celebrations.

England wouldn't have expected to be chasing 222 given the way they started with the ball. Matthew Fisher's fuller lengths had Akhil Herwadkar, Sanju Samson and Ricky Bhui edging behind the wicket. They eerily found themselves in a similar situation to the one in Townsville in 2012, reeling at 8 for 3 against England on a foggy morning in Dubai. Rewind to 2010 in Lincoln, and India were 2 for 3 in the first over, against Pakistan. Those games went down to the wire too.

At 24 for 4, the bad dreams of the Scotland game resurfaced but interestingly, Hooda was promoted over Sarfaraz, who had bailed India out twice.

The bowlers kept Zol and Hooda on a leash, giving away only two boundaries in the first 20 overs. Hooda broke a boundary drought that lasted nearly 16 overs when he charged the offpsinner Sayer and slammed one over cover. Zol and Hooda looked more at ease against spin, with Zol driving powerfully past cover. He fell punching Sayer to Duckett who took a low catch at cover. His 48 helped India add 87 after their early wobble.

Once the sun came out, the ball came on better and the shorter balls were easier to put away, as Hooda targeted the deep-midwicket boundary. In between, he kept looking for singles, dabbing it wide of the keeper with no slip catchers around. A run-out ended his innings on 68, when Jonathan Tattersall's diving under-arm throw hit the stumps.

India managed 24 off the batting Powerplay, but the bigger impact was reserved for the last ten overs, in which they managed 74. Sarfaraz enhanced his reputation as a finisher, and ended the innings in style with consecutive boundaries over cover, pounding his chest with his bat while walking back and gesturing to the India fans. Despite Sarfaraz's efforts, India discovered later that they were still short.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jayaesh on February 24, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    @Naresh28, i don't know which match you were watching but the match we all saw both Indian pacers were bowling in mid 130's and on occasion late 130's they were atleast five k quicker than there English counterparts,so by no account they were slow pacers as you put it, instead of relying on stereotypes and generalistions it is always better to watch the actual game and then comment.

  • Naresh on February 24, 2014, 7:09 GMT

    Poor start by the Indian top order. They all seemed to have been going HARD at the pace bowlers - this will result in slip/wicky catches. With our slow pacers it was always going to be easy for England to overcome the score. This Indian team did not deserve to go any further then they got. There was lots lacking.

  • Sanjiv on February 23, 2014, 20:58 GMT

    This is typical performance by an India team. Regardless of whether it is our juniors or seniors, we fold under pressure from better teams. BCCI is unaware that it is presiding over a systemic rot of the "performance" aspects of the game - performance has only one goal - a Win under all circumstances. We are instead obsessed with the "process" of nurturing under-performers with gentle claps amongst chants of "well played".

  • John on February 23, 2014, 14:45 GMT

    @salazar555 on (February 22, 2014, 13:51 GMT) Let's not get carried away here. It was a great victory by our side but Pakistan will be as tough. All these teams seem closely matched

  • Abdul on February 23, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    @ F.Hashimi

    Didnt Afghan under 19 lost the series to Pakistan under 19 recently ?

  • John on February 23, 2014, 10:50 GMT

    @anshu.s on (February 22, 2014, 14:17 GMT) (and a few others who have had the good grace to give our English side some credit) - I thought it was an excellent seesawing game of cricket which could have gone either way. There was brilliance and vulnerability from both sides and both sides dropped comfortable catches which could have been game changers.It looked to me like another game where your bowlers were going to strangle us but we just about prevailed. It has been a tournament with some great closely fought games - we were on the wrong end vs SL but on the right end here. I suppose re the format - there isn't enough interest to drag the tournament out much longer. We have another tough game vs Pak tomorrow. I fear failure but it would be a great fillup for our country's cricket after recent months if we go on to win it

  • John on February 23, 2014, 10:50 GMT

    @wapuser on (February 22, 2014, 14:19 GMT) 1stly I don't reckon the guy you responded to is English as we don't refer to ourselves as Pommies etc. 2ndly - You're out of order re Tres and Trott. Tres become very ill on one of his tours and returned home. However he went on all the tours between 2000 and 2005 where England were on the wrong end of it most of the time so no one can say Tres dipped out at the first sign of trouble on the cricket field. Re Trott (who is obviously South African when he is doing well but English when he leaves tours?) , no one (outside the camp and maybe only Trott himself) knows how bad his situation got. Maybe it wasn't so bad but he didn't want risk getting into the state Tres got? I hope that is the case and if ignorant people see it as quitting then so be it. I'm glad that we have some understanding of stress/mental conditions. Life is more important than winning a cricket match

  • M on February 23, 2014, 5:40 GMT

    Rohit. That is ridiculous. Indian cricket attracts Indian fans. There are so many of them because your country is so populous, 1.2 billion in case U forgot. It is not the quality of Indian cricket that attracts Indian fans as they will always watch India matches out of patriotism. And more channels and websites will cater for them as it is more profitable purely due to numbers of patriotic fans. For example, how many Indians are following the intriguing SA-Aus series? Not many probably. Pak matches would likewise attract packed arenas if played in Pak - U know this well.

  • Reg on February 23, 2014, 5:31 GMT

    It is rather disappointing to see the same paranoid and often near-psychotic remarks about the various teams, and especially about the organisation of the under-19 tournament, as appear in the comments on the "grown up" game. If only we were all actually to grow up! The thing that strikes me about the tournament results is how even most of the teams are. As well as Afghanistan beating Australia (go you good things!) we have the runner up in group D beating the winner in group A, and the runner-up in group A beating the winner in group D. More than anything else this suggest to me that this game of ours is going to continue to be fascinating and unpredictable for years to come. Cricket lovely cricket . . .

  • Muhammad on February 23, 2014, 4:56 GMT

    @InsideHedge Average has importance for top order... If not than why your media was showing averages before defeat. Think about your cricket intelligence

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