Recent Match Report – India U19 vs NZ U19 25th Match, Super Sixes, Group 1 2023/24

India 295 for 8 (Musheer 131, Adarsh 52, Clarke 4-62) beat New Zealand 81 (Jackson 19, Cumming 16, Pandey 4-19, Musheer 2-10) by 214 runs

Musheer Khan smashed his second century in three innings and followed it up with figures of 2 for 10 off his 3.1 overs as India registered a thumping 214-run win over New Zealand in the first game of the Super Sixes round of the U-19 World Cup. This was India’s third successive 200-plus run win in the tournament, one which took them one step closer to booking a semi-final spot.

Sent into bat, India, led by Musheer’s 126-ball 131 and Adarsh Singh‘s 52, piled up 295 for 8 in their 50 overs. New Zealand were then blown away by Raj Limbani and left-arm spinner Saumy Pandey, who finished with 4 for 19 off his ten overs to bundle them out for 81 in Bloemfontein. This was New Zealand’s third-lowest score in the history of the U-19 World Cup.

New Zealand made three changes, leaving out their highest wicket-taker Matt Rowe. Arshin Kulkarni, on the back of a century in the last game, got going with a flick through square leg, but failed to carry on. He rushed down the track to a back-of-a-length Mason Clarke delivery that he looked to flay away but could only manage a top edge that flew to deep third.

Musheer, coming in on the back of 118 and 73 in the previous two games, immediately got going. He started with a ramp off Clarke over the keeper’s head before unfurling a cracking cover drive to quickly move to double figures. Adarsh, meanwhile launched a couple of sparkling drives.

With the conditions ripe for batting, they rotated the strike at every given interval and found the boundaries regularly. India, whose powerplay scores so far this tournament have been 45 for 2, 38 for 1 and 40 for 0, raced to 61 for 1 against New Zealand. New Zealand’s ground fielding was also not up to mark at least in the first ten overs.

Even after the powerplay, New Zealand continued to leak runs with Adarsh taking Oscar Jackson for two fours in an over before reaching his second fifty of the tournament off 56 balls with a clip through square leg for three. The left-hander, however, fell soon after almost against the run of play slicing legspinner Zac Cumming to point to end a run-a-ball 77-run partnership.

Captain Uday Saharan then walked in but failed to get the same momentum going, as the surface started taking some turn. New Zealand employed spin for 25 overs straight and Snehith Reddy, Cumming (1-37) and Oliver Tewatiya (1-43) shone through. Even as Musheer kept the innings chugging along, Saharan struggled.

The Indian captain could only manage 34 off 57 balls but that did not deter Musheer, who kept going. The 18-year-old raced through the 90s with a reverse sweep and reached his century with a single to deep midwicket. With the hundred, Musheer also became just the second Indian with multiple centuries in a single edition of the U-19 World Cup since Shikhar Dhawan in 2004.

Musheer was dropped at deep square leg soon after breaching the three-figure mark, but New Zealand managed to restrict India to an extent with Clarke doing the damage finishing with 4 for 62. Musheer fell in the 48th over getting a top edge that was taken at extra cover. India did score 89 runs in the last ten overs but lost five wickets in the process.

If there was any momentum that New Zealand took into their second innings, they lost all of it in Limbani’s first over. In what was a spell of inswinging brilliance, he breached opener Tom Jones’ defences first ball with a nip-backer that left his stumps in a mess. Reddy then shouldered arms first ball and was struck in front, but the umpire adjudged the ball to be going over the stumps. He, however, didn’t last long playing all around a length ball that tailed back in sharply as New Zealand were reduced to 0 for 2 after the first over. That became 13 for 3 when Lachlan Stackpole was cleaned up by Pandey’s arm ball.

It was a procession thereon with none of the New Zealand batters picking any of the bowlers. James Nelson was caught lbw by Pandey for 10 while Naman Tiwari took out Tewatiya. Jackson and Cumming resisted for 40 balls before Musheer took out Jackson with a yorker while Pandey added two more wickets to his tally.

It was fitting that Musheer ended the game, taking out Ewald Schreuder, as New Zealand were taken down comprehensively.

Ashish Pant is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

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