<
>

Rana, Desai fifties set up big India win

India Under-19s 287 for 8 (Desai 75, Rana 58, Fisher 4-44, Brookes 3-60) beat England Under-19s 158 (Rawlins 46, Roy 3-34) by 129 runs
Scorecard

A strong batting effort, led by fifties from Harvik Desai and Himanshu Rana, helped India Under-19s level the five-match series with a rout of England Under-19s in the second ODI at the Brabourne Stadium. After India posted 287, their bowlers combined to bowl England out for 158.

Rana, coming off a century in the first ODI at the Wankhede Stadium, showed exemplary defensive technique to weather an accurate opening spell from Matthew Fisher. After Fisher had Prithvi Shaw bowled, Shubman Gill and Rana played some delightful strokes in an 82-run second-wicket stand, particularly square of the wicket on both sides, as England's bowlers persisted with the shortish length that had earned them success in the opening game.

Given the slow nature of the pitch and England's failure to adjust their lengths, Rana faced no trouble in pulling off the front foot. It seemed, however, that most of India's batsmen too struggled to adapt to the difference in pace from the series opener. On 24, Gill slapped a cut to point and Rana, shortly after hitting his fourth consecutive fifty-plus score, popped a catch to short midwicket, both batsmen through their shots too early. Priyam Garg, one of six inclusions in India's XI from the previous game, was strangled down the leg side off Fisher. At that point, India had slipped from 102 for 1 to 108 for 4.

Wicketkeeper Desai began India's rebuild by just picking off what was on offer: England's spinners weren't consistent in lines and lengths, and their fielding was shoddy. Along with handy contributions from the middle order, he carried India past 200. Desai struck 10 fours in his 75 before he found cover with a drive he was too early into, giving Fisher his fourth wicket.

Cameos from Kamlesh Nagarkoti (36 off 32 balls) and Shiva Singh, who struck two reverse-slaps over short third man and a flicked six over fine leg in his 12-ball 23, helped India post 287. England dropped two catches and conceded nearly 90 runs in the final 10 overs.

In their reply, England were rocked early by India's opening bowlers. Seamer Shivam Mavi, in particular, beat the outside edge repeatedly with nippy outswingers. Opener Max Holden was caught down the leg side. George Bartlett was caught behind, and Harry Brook, who looked solid during his 26, chopped on, another victim of a slow surface.

Euan Woods and Ollie Pope led England's recovery with a staunch fourth-wicket partnership that kept India's spinners at bay. Both batsmen looked fluent before being dismissed in clumsy fashion: Pope was run-out at the striker's end, calling for a run to square leg that was never on and Woods chipping a catch to mid-off. Not long after, Tom Banton misread the length from left-arm spinner Anukul Roy, and was bowled attempting to cut a slider. England's fate, by then, was all but sealed at 101 for 6 in the 24th over.

Delray Rawlins, England's match-winner in the previous game, was fluent from the outset. He was the only batsmen from both teams to persist with cross-batted strokes off the spinners, employing the sweep and reverse-sweep to fruition. He forced India's spinners, who troubled the rest of the batting line-up, to over-compensate. He profited while waiting on the back foot too, rocking back and muscling sixes straight down the ground. No other batsman in this series has come close to matching his power. He was lbw for 46, off the bowling of Ishan Porel, but the ball may have pitched outside leg.

Roy picked up three wickets, while Mavi and Porel chipped in with two each to round off a much-improved performance from India.