Ravikant stars in India's big win
India Under-19s 204 (Zol 72, Soper 5-32) beat Papua New Guinea Under-19s 97 (Ravikant 5-21) by 107 runs
India secured second place in Group C of the Under-19 World Cup with a comfortable victory against Papua New Guinea, their second in three games. Ravikant Singh led the efficient bowling performance, taking 5 for 21, which made up for a weak effort with the bat against inexperienced opposition. India will now face Pakistan in a quarterfinal at the Tony Ireland Stadium.
After a disappointing effort against West Indies and an average one against Zimbabwe, India's batsman had one last chance to find fluency ahead of the quarterfinals. However, the team was shot out for 204 off 45.1 overs, with Chad Soper, a Papua New Guinea medium-pacer who lives in Sydney, picking up a five-wicket haul.
Unmukt Chand won the toss for the first time in the tournament and chose to bat at Endeavour Park 1, a club ground with small boundaries. He, however, was the first to fall, caught at slip off Soper. Chand hung around while the umpires checked if the ball had carried to Christopher Kent but was eventually on his way for 4.
India's batsmen were unable to apply the sort of pressure that makes inexperienced teams lose their disciplines. Papua New Guinea were frequently buoyed by wickets and they celebrated each one with loud whoops of excitement.
The other opening batsman, Prashant Chopra, was responsible for most of India's early runs but he was dismissed for 58 in the 23rd over, with the score on 95 for 4. Then it was up to Vijay Zol, who had an 82-run partnership for the sixth wicket with wicketkeeper Smit Patel. They played a few shots - Patel pulled over the midwicket boundary, while Zol scooped past the wicketkeeper. The resistance ended when Patel, on 30, lofted Raymond Haoda towards deep midwicket and was caught by Nigel Boge, who had to cover quite a bit of ground to his left.
The end came quickly after that with Soper running through the tail, bowling full and straight to hit the stumps or the pads successfully. He had Zol caught behind for 72 to finish with 5 for 32.
A target of 205 was always going to stretch Papua New Guinea. The only time when they looked like putting up a fight was when Christopher Kent went on the attack, hitting offspinner Vikas Mishra on to the roof of the club house and into the playing area of the West Indies-Zimbabwe game in an adjacent ground at Endeavour Park. Mishra eventually dismissed Kent, caught at long-on by Ravikant Singh.
Ravikant then took three wickets in the space of four runs, reducing Papua New Guinea from 50 for 2 to 54 for 5. They were all out for 97 in the 32nd over.
George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo