Bawa, Raghuvanshi centuries power massive India win
Bangladesh, Afghanistan progress to quarter-finals; Pakistan crush PNG
India 405 for 5 (Bawa 162, Raghuvanshi 144, Murungi 3-72) beat Uganda 79 all out (Sindhu 4-19, Hangargekar 2-8) by 326 runs
Opener Angkrish Raghuvanshi struck 144 and No. 4 Raj Bawa smacked 162 to give India the second-biggest win in the history of Youth ODIs as the Covid-hit team trounced Uganda by 326 runs in their final Group B encounter in Tarouba. The pair's partnership of 206, that propelled India to post the tournament's first 400+ total, was also the highest third-wicket stand in Under-19 World Cup history.
The 16-year-old Raghuvanshi started attacking the Uganda bowling right from the first over when he cut one square for four, and then dominated a 40-run opening stand with Harnoor Singh by playing the short balls offered by the Uganda bowlers on both sides behind square. He displayed his wristwork by flicking shots off his toes through midwicket and playing strong drives down the ground to reach his fifty in 49 balls.
Raghuvanshi, on 50, was joined by Raj Bawa after Nishant Sindhu fell for 15, and together they dominated for the next 22.4 overs where they scored 206 runs together. Bawa started his innings by putting away a low full toss through midwicket, and after a short period of quiet batting till the 21st over, the duo broke free.
The 22nd over went for 20 runs as Raghuvanshi hit two fours and Bawa smacked back-to-back sixes, the 26th had Raghuvanshi playing two sweeps for four and one drive past the bowler, and in the 27th over, Bawa played a sublime punch through deep cover and followed it up with pull to the long-on boundary to push India to 172 for 2. Bawa reached his fifty in 44 balls in the 28th over in style slog-sweeping a six over the leg side and by the end of the 30th over, India had breached 200.
Raghuvanshi reached his 93-ball century next over by pulling a short ball for four, and with at least one boundary coming off their bat till the 34th over, India's run rate was hovering near seven and the chances of a 400+ score was looking like a reality for the first time in the innings.
Bawa then tore into Uganda bowler Joseph Baguma by hitting consecutive sixes off full-tosses and on 90, offered the first real chance when he edged a shot past the vacant slip cordon for four. He followed it up to move to 98 with a square cut that raced through the carpet. He reached his century in only 69 balls with a single to midwicket.
With both batters in triple digits, it appeared like the duo had shed all inhibitions and looked to tonk every ball out of the ground. Raghuvanshi went 6, 4, 4 in the 38th over, however, he was out on 144, top-edging a swipe to the wicketkeeper.
Bawa, though, was not going to stop, and he brought up India's 300 in the 40th over with a six over extra cover. He kept finding the boundaries with ease and buried a six down the ground to reach his 101-ball 150 by easily flicking a shot over deep midwicket.
With Kaushal Tambe not lasting long, Bawa needed someone from the other end to also bring out the fireworks to help India breach 400, and wicketkeeper Dinesh Bana offered that aid by hitting a quickfire 14-ball 22. Bawa then saw off the innings in Aneeshwar Gautam's company as their six-run 50th over took India to 405 for 5.
Uganda did not get going in their chase at all, with six batters failing to score a run. Rajvardhan Hangargekar rattled the top order with his two wickets and the stand-in captain Nishant Sindhu, who had bowled tight through the tournament but without the wickets to show for it, then ran through the middle order with a four-for, including the scalp of Uganda captain Pascal Murungi (34). Vicky Ostwal and Vasu Vats, drafted into the India squad hours before the match, took a wicket apiece to complete the rout. India will next play Bangladesh in the quarter-finals.
Bangladesh 110 for 1 (Mahfijul 64*, Iftakher 37) beat United Arab Emirates 148 all out (Mehra 43, Mondol 3-31) by nine wickets (DLS method)
In what was a virtual pre-quarterfinal match, defending champions Bangladesh rode on the back of a complete bowling performance in a rain-hit Group A game to secure their passage into the final eight by beating UAE by nine wickets.
Right-arm seamer Ripon Mondol took 3 for 31 while Ashiqur Zaman and Tanzim Hasan Sakib took two wickets apiece to bowl UAE out for 148. UAE had three batters getting starts, with Punya Mehra top-scoring with 43, but they lost their last six wickets for 46 runs, with Mondol causing maximum damage.
A rain-break changed the 149-run target to Bangladesh requiring 107 in 35 overs, and their openers set up the chase with an 86-run opening stand. Mahfijul Islam hit six fours and two sixes in his unbeaten 69-ball 64 and was assisted by Iftakher Hossain's 70-ball 37. No. 3 Prantik Nawrose Nabil then gave Mahfijul company through to the end as Bangladesh wrapped up the nine-wicket win by the 25th over to finish second, behind England, in the group.
Pakistan 51 for 1 (Abbas 27*, Haseebullah 18*) beat Papua New Guinea 50 all out (Shehzad 5-7, Ahmed 3-10) by nine wickets
Seam-bowling allrounder Muhammad Shehzad took a five-wicket haul while conceding only seven runs to set up Pakistan's demolition of Papua New Guinea and help his side finish table-toppers in Group C. Their nine-wicket win now sets up a quarter-final date against Australia.
Shehzad was the first-change bowler, and he had middle-order batters Aue Oru and Patrick Nou caught behind first up. He then returned to pick up the wickets of Sigo Kelly, Rasan Kevau and Karoho Kevau - all three for ducks - to bowl PNG out for 50 in 22.4 overs.
Shehzad's bowling form, however, could not convert into a good batting show for him personally. He was out for a duck as opener, but the other opener Abbas Ali scored 27 in 32 balls in the company of the captain Hasebullah Khan (18*) to leave Pakistan with a perfect Group C record of three wins in three games.
Afghanistan 261 for 6 (Safi 111, Kharote 50, Falao 3-54) beat Zimbabwe 152 all out (Welch 53, Kharote 4-30) by 109 runs
In a must-win game for both sides, Afghanistan rode on the back of their captain Suliman Safi's 111 and an all-round show from Nangeyalia Kharote to pip Zimbabwe to the second spot in Group C with a comprehensive 109-run win. Afghanistan will now participate in an all-Asian quarter-final against Group D toppers Sri Lanka.
The left-hand opener Kharote hit a 45-ball 50 to build Afghanistan's foundation, but it was Safi's century from No. 4 that took them to 261 for 6. Safi hit 14 fours and three sixes in his 118-ball 111, dominating a 108-run fifth-wicket stand with Mohammad Ishaq where he made just 39. Although expensive, Zimbabwe seamer Alex Falao took a three-for.
Zimbabwe made a promising start to the chase, putting up 49 in their opening stand, with Matthew Welch making most of the runs. However, Kharote's left-arm spin then ran through the middle order, helping him finish with 4 for 30, which also included the wickets of Zimbabwe's top-scorer Welch (53), the captain Emmanuel Bawa, and David and Brian Bennett. Sandwiched between his wickets was the run out that Kharote effected to send Connor Mitchell back for a duck, and leg spinner Izharulhaq Naveed made short work of the tail. The other left-arm spinner Shahidullah Hasani took two top-order wickets too, and Zimbabwe folded for 152.
Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx