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Anmolpreet plays a shot during his innings of 72 while Sri Lankan wicket-keeper Vishad Randika looks on from behind the stumps

India stormed into the finals of the Under-19 cricket World Cup after their 97-run win against Sri Lanka in the first semi-final in Mirpur. India’s 96-run stand between Anmolpreet Singh and Sarfaraz Khan eventually sealed the victory for the winners.
No team had chased down a total in excess of 250 against India in an Under-19 World Cup semifinal before and Sri Lanka too, failed pursuing the daunting task.

Sri Lanka were reduced to 42 for 3 when inform opener Avishka Fernando was given out leg-before to a horrible decision in the first over for four. The umpire was Brathwaite from West Indies. Replays clearly showed the ball missing the leg stump by two feet. Kaveen Bandara, the other opener, was run-out for four after a terrible mix-up when attempting a silly run with Kamindu Mendis. Then skipper Charith Asalanka the Sri Lankan captain, played a terrible cross-batted pull and  in the end, he top edged the red cherry straight into the hands of the fielder at mid on.

Left hander Kamindu Mendis and Shammu Ashan shared a partnership of 49 for the fourth wicket. Mendis made a well compiled 39.

Vice captain Ashan played a good knock of 38 before he was needlessly run out. Wicket keeper Vishad Randika 28 and all rounder Wanidu Hasaranga 8 were out quickly. Sri Lanka were tottering at 149 for 7. All rounder Damith Silva scored a brisk 24, but fell to the spin of Sundar when the score was 170. Then Dagar came back and wrapped up the Sri Lankan tail to bowl out Sri Lanka for 170.

Earlier in the day India ran into trouble early when Asitha Fernando, Sri Lankas main strike fast bowler and Lahiru Kumara, the other opening fast bowler surprised the Indians by testing Ishan Kishan and skipper Rishabh Pant with extra pace and bounce. Both batsmen were dismissed cheaply. The Indians were struggling at 27 for 2 after10 over. Later Anmolpreet and Sarfaraz figured in a key 96-run partnership for the third wicket.

Singh who, was dropped on 32, went on to reach his fifty off 69 balls. He made 72.
After a long spell of spin that did not bring a wicket, Asalanka turned back to his speed merchant Asitha Fernando, who struck immediately by accounting for Sarfaraz.

Anmolpreet assumed the role of the senior partner as Washington Sundar walked out ahead of Armaan Jaffer at No. 5 and went past his fifty and looked set to steer India to a strong finish. With an aim of pushing the scoreboard, man of the match Anmolpreet looked to play his shots and attempted  a paddle sweep to be caught by the wicketkeeper Randika off Nimesh for a 92-ball 72.

Jaffer entered the fray with India needing quick runs. Together with Sundar they took India past 200, but he too was caught by wicket keeper Randika, after hitting 43 off 45 balls. India lost their last six wickets in the final ten overs. India made 267 for 9 in 50 overs.

Sri lankan speedster Asitha Fernando bowled his heart out for the team by capturing 4 for 43 during his allotted 10 overs.

Brief Scores:
India U19 -267 for 9 in 50 Overs (Anmolpreet Singh 72, Sarfaraz Khan 59, Washington Sundar 43; Asitha Fernando 4-43, Lahiru Kumara 2-50, Thilan Nimesh 2-50) beat Sri Lanka U19 – 170 All Out in 42.4 Overs (Kamindu Mendis 39, Shammu Ashan 38, Vishad Randika 28, Damith Silva 24;  Mayank Dagar 3-21, Avesh Khan 2-41) Lost by 97 runs.

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