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Yash Dhull, bowlers help India start with win; Zimbabwe crush PNG by 228 runs

UAE and Ireland also tasted victories to kick off their campaigns, defeating Canada and Uganda, respectively

Sreshth Shah
Sreshth Shah
Vicky Ostwal leads his team back after grabbing a five-wicket haul, India Under-19 vs South Africa Under-19, Under-19 World Cup, Providence, January 15, 2022

Vicky Ostwal grabbed 5 for 28 in India's win  •  ICC via Getty Images

India 232 (Dhull 82, Tambe 35, Boast 3-40) beat South Africa 187 (Brevis 65, Ostwal 5-28, Bawa 4-47) by 45 runs
India's captain Yash Dhull impressed with his batting and catching to help his side seal a 45-run win over South Africa. However, the game was closer than what the scorecard would suggest, with South Africa capitulating in the final third of the chase. And making most of their collapse was left-arm spinner Vicky Ostwal, who took three lower-order wickets to finish with 5 for 28.
In pursuit of 233, South Africa needed 100 to win in the last 15 overs with seven wickets in hand. At that stage, both Dewald Brevis, who top-scored with 65, and captain George Van Heerden were set at the crease. But South Africa went on to lose their next five wickets for only 20 runs, a collapse triggered by Brevis' dismissal.
Nicknamed 'Baby AB', No. 3 Brevis showed off his range of shots with six fours and two sixes, but was caught by Dhull while diving forward at mid-off off right-arm seamer Raj Bawa. Bawa, who had conceded 17 runs in his first over, was bowling his second spell when he prised out Brevis' wicket in the 36th over, and followed it up with Van Heerden's dismissal, eventually finishing with 4 for 47.
However, Bawa was not the standout bowler. India's bowling effort was controlled by their two left-arm spinners Nishant Sindhu and Ostwal. Although Sindhu went wicketless, he conceded only 22 runs in his quota of ten overs, while Ostwal's five-wicket haul came at an economy of 2.80.
South Africa's chase had started off with opener Ethan-John Cunningham out lbw to a beautiful length delivery from seamer Rajvardhan Hangargekar. It nipped in and trapped Cunningham while he shouldered arms. Ostwal then removed the dangerous-looking Valentine Kitime for 25 with a ball spinning away that took the right-hander's outside edge to wicketkeeper Dinesh Bana, and took his second when Gerhardus Maree edged another one behind.
Brevis and Van Heerden then began South Africa's recovery from a score of 83 for 3, but consumed too many dots, scoring just 55 runs in a partnership that lasted 91 deliveries. Most of those overs were bowled by the two left-arm spinners who put in the choke. Yet, with seven wickets standing and the required run rate a manageable 6.67 in the last 15 overs, it was still doable for South Africa.
That is when Bawa got in their way to remove Brevis. Ostwal too returned, rattlling Michael Copeland's stumps, and going on to dismiss Kadence Sullivan and Matthew Boast as well. Dhull, earlier India's hero with the bat, took the final catch in the 46th over to complete India's 45-run victory.
But during India's innings, South Africa's left-arm seamer Aphiwe Mnyanda had given his side a promising start. He got both openers Harnoor Singh and Angkrish Raghuvanshi lbw early on, taking advantage of the moisture that was around following some pre-match rain.
At 11 for 2, Dhull joined his vice-captain Shaik Rasheed, who scored 31, and despite the early jolts, batted positively to keep the scoreboard ticking with a 71-run third-wicket stand.
Dhull played exquisite cuts off the back foot, and crunched cover drives through the gaps to balls that had width. And when the No. 5 Sindhu began with a flurry of boundaries, Dhull briefly took the back seat, but the partnership broke when Sindhu was stumped off Copeland for a 25-ball 27.
At that stage, India were 126 for 4 in the 27th over, but Dhull was growing in confidence after going past fifty. He struck 11 fours in all and looked set for a century, offering no real chance to the South Africa bowlers. But that changed in the 39th over when he looked for a single that wasn't there, and while trying to turn back, was out via a direct hit from point.
Kaushal Tambe then took over, contributing 35 after a slow start to his innings. However, he was out while trying to cut to point off Boast. Next ball, Boast took his third when Hangargekar fell for a duck with India in danger of not batting the entire 50 overs. And that is what ultimately happened when Ostwal chipped a half-tracker back to legspinner Brevis with India's score at 232.
In the end, though, the 19 deliveries that India did not face did not end up hurting them. Their superior run rate on a two-paced and spinning surface proved too much for South Africa.
United Arab Emirates 284 for 7 (Naseer 73, Mehra 71, Gurnek 2-38) beat Canada 235 (Mihir 96, Chima 46, Giyanani 2-10) by 49 runs
Group A started off with United Arab Emirates riding on the back of seventies from Punya Mehra and Ali Naseer to defeat Canada by 49 runs in Basseterre.
Batting first, they put on 70 for the fifth wicket after UAE were 104 for 4 at one stage, and once Mehra was out for 71, Naseer brought out the big shots, including four sixes and five fours, to score 73 in just 50 deliveries. He combined with Nilansh Keswani, who scored 39, in a 69-run sixth-wicket stand as UAE added 92 runs in the last nine-and-a-half overs before Naseer was the last man out in the final over with the total at 284.
Canada had three significant batting contributions, with their captain Mihir Patel leading from the front with a 105-ball 96, while opener Anoop Chima made 46 and No. 8 Kairav Sharma scored 43. But with only one other batter crossing double digits, they fell well short, bowled out for 235 in the 47th over.
Keswani contributed with the ball too, taking 2 for 32 with his left-arm spin. Legspinner Adithya Shetty grabbed two middle-order wickets, and seam-bowling allrounder Alishan Sharafu dismissed Mihir and Kairav.
Zimbabwe 321 for 9 (Bawa 100, D Bennett 58, Kevau 3-65) beat Papua New Guinea 93 (Maha 15, Chirwa 2-11, B Bennett 2-20) by 228 runs
In Port of Spain, a century from their captain Emmanuel Bawa and a collective effort from the bowlers helped Zimbabwe crush Papua New Guinea by 228 runs.
Batting first, Bawa's 95-ball 100 - that included ten fours and two sixes - set the tone for others around him to help Zimbabwe post 321. Opener Panashe Taruvinga scored a patient 36, but the rest of the batters went at a much quicker clip. David Bennett scored 58 in 53 balls, Brian Bennett struck a quick-fire 23, Connor Mitchell smacked a run-a-ball 35 and, in the death overs, No. 10 Victor Chirwa cracked a 16-ball 35. Albeit expensive, PNG's Rasan Kevau took three wickets in ten overs.
In response, however, PNG were all out for 93 in 35 overs, their highest partnership reading 23 and their highest individual score being 15. Ngenyasha Zvinoera, Brian Bennett and Chirwa took two wickets each, with one apiece from Tendekai Mataranyika and Mitchell.
Ireland 236 for 9 (Cox 111*, Rouz 32, Baguma 2-34) beat Uganda 197 (Murungi 63, Miyaji 38, Humphreys 4-25) by 39 runs
In the other Group B match of the day, Ireland's wicketkeeper-batter Joshua Cox struck an unbeaten 111 to set up a 39-run win over Uganda. Uganda rode on their captain Pascal Murungi's innings of 63 to stay in contention of the 237-run target, but eventually fell short as a result of four wickets from Ireland's left-arm spinner Matthew Humphreys.
Batting first, Ireland had lost four wickets before even crossing 100, but Cox's 59-run fifth-wicket stand with Philippus le Roux, who got 32, started their recovery. Even though wickets fell around him, Cox at No. 4 stayed undefeated in an innings of eight fours and one six to take Ireland to 236 in the end.
In the chase, Humphreys began Uganda's downfall with two wickets in third over, dismissing both openers cheaply. In the 29th over, he got Pius Olaba to reduce Uganda to 97 for 6. And with Murungi being the lone man standing between Ireland and a win, Humphreys sent him back too in the 42nd over with an lbw. Even though Juna Miyaji hit a 21-ball 38 from No. 9 for Uganda, Ireland seamer Muzamil Sherzad returned in his last spell to clean up the last two wickets to give Ireland the two points.

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx