India rounded up their group stage in the ICC Under-19 World Cup with a thumping ten-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in their last group game on Friday (January 19). Chasing a modest total, India romped home in the 22nd over without losing any wicket.
With a place in the quarterfinal assured and set a target of just 154, India came out with a new opening combination – Shubman Gill and Harvik Desai. Regular openers Prithvi Shaw and Manjot Kalra had enjoyed good outings in the first two games, and so the team management decided to give other batsmen a run in the park. The decision was justified by Gill and Desai, as they fired India to a convincing victory. Gill was the more aggressive during the stand, remaining unbeaten on 90 off just 59 balls while Desai scored 56.
With not a very big target on the scoreboard, India started the proceedings in a sedate manner with Desai failing to score in the first over. The third over was also a maiden before both the batsmen upped the ante. By the time the tenth over ended, India had raced away to 68. Gill soon reached his fifty off just 36 balls with a well-timed six over mid-wicket.
Gill continued to play his shots while Desai looked more than happy to play second fiddle, as India chased down the total with utmost ease in the 22nd over.
Earlier, Anukul Roy, fresh off his five-wicket haul against Papua New Guinea, once again starred with the ball, picking up four for just 20 to help India bowl out the African country for a mere 154. Three of Zimbabwe’s top five got the starts but failed to convert them, and as a result, the innings never got the impetus for a big total.
At 110 for three, they were looking primed to post a good total, but once Anukul Roy accounted for Milton Shumba, ending the 49-run stand, Zimbabwe’s innings got derailed. From there on, the African country kept on losing wickets at regular intervals and lost their last seven wickets for just 44 runs to get folded up for 154.
India 155 for 0 (Gill 90*, Desai 56*) beat Zimbabwe 154 for 10 (Shumba 36, Roy 4-20) by ten wickets.