India U19 cricket team in action- Courtesy- ACC
India U19 and Sri Lanka U19 are set to lock horns in the Final of the U19 Asia Cup 2021 on Friday, December 31 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
India U19, captained by Yash Dhull, were once on the verge of elimination from the ongoing edition of the tournament. But a four-wicket win over Afghanistan made sure they qualified for the semi-final. They defeated Bangladesh by 103 runs in the semifinals on Thursday, December 30.
After being put in to bat first, India put up 243 for the loss of eight wickets in 50 overs. Shaik Rashid starred for the Boys in Blue as he stayed unbeaten on 90 runs off 108 balls with three fours and one six. Skipper Dhull, Raj Bawa and Vicky Ostwal got useful scores in the 20s.
Junior Tigers captain Rakibul Hasan accounted for three scalps and also bowled a maiden in his quota of 10 overs. Tanzim Hasan Saqib, Naimur Rohman, SM Mehrob and Ariful Islam got one wicket apiece. Bangladesh found themselves in trouble after they lost half of their side with the score at 59.
The situation didn’t improve for them from there on and they were eventually bowled out for 140. Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Ravi Kumar, Raj Bawa and Vicky Ostwal picked up one wicket apiece for India.
Sri Lanka, led by Dunith Wellage, finished Group B with five points from three matches and a net run rate of -3.110. They defeated Pakistan U19 by 22 runs in the other semi-final. After opting to bat first, the Lankans were bowled out for a paltry score of 147 in 44.5 overs.
Yasiru Rodrigo and Matheesha Pathirana scored 31 runs apiece to give Lanka’s score some sort of respectability. The duo put on a useful partnership of 47 runs for the ninth wicket. Zeeshan Zameer broke the backbone of their batting, having picked up four wickets.
Thereafter, Treveen Mathew put forth his A-game as his 10-3-14-4 spell blew Pakistan away. Skipper Wellage lent him support, picking up three crucial wickets. Pakistan were shot out for 125 in 49.3 overs.
Can Sri Lanka U19 beat India U19?
India U19 did lose a game against Pakistan U19 in the league stage. However, they have gained a lot of momentum since then with comprehensive wins over Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Sri Lanka, on the contrary, would be a tad worried with their batting. India U19 are favorites to win the final on Friday.
Prediction: India U19 will win this game.