India justified their billing as pre-tournament favourites when they thrashed Sri Lanka by 97 runs in the first semi-final to qualify for the final of ICC Under-19 World Cup in Mirpur on Tuesday.
This will be the record fifth final appearance for India, who will meet either Bangladesh or West Indies in the final on Sunday looking for their fourth title.
It will help them overtake Australia, who won equal three titles.
Half centuries from Anmolpreet Singh and Sarfaraz Khan guided India to 267-9 before Mayank Dagar’s three-wicket played a crucial part in dismissing Sri Lanka out for 170 in 42.4 overs.
India kept their complete dominance in all three of their group matches along with the quarter-final and Tuesday’s game was not an exception though they had an early hiccup.
Prolific run scorer Rishabh Pant got out for 14 and his opening partner skipper Ishan Kishan got back to pavilion for seven to leave his side to 27-2.
But Anmolpreet, the son of Satvinder Singh, who represented India in handball for 18 years, shared 96-run third wicket with Sarfaraz to steady the ship.
Sarfaraz, who made 59 off 71 balls, got out after he hit six boundaries and a six but Anmolpreet kept his onslaught and added another 70 runs with Washington Sundar in the fourth wicket to consolidate the position of his side.
Anmolpreet struck six boundaries and a six to score 72 off 92 balls and Sundar made 43 before Armaan Jaffer played a cameo of 29 off just 16 balls to put a healthy score on the board.
Sri Lanka were left ruing for their over dependence on spinners, who were unable to trouble the Indian batsmen. Right-arm seamer Asitha Fernando was the most successful Sri Lankan bowler with 4-43.
In reply Sri Lanka lost their openers Avishka Fernando for four and Kevin Bandara for two to become 2-13 and lost wickets in regular intervals subsequently without offering any challenge.
Kamindu Mendis made highest 39 and India’s Leg-spinner Mayank Dagar picked 3-21.
Avesh Khan grabbed two wickets while Khalil Ahmed, Rahul Batham and Sundar grabbed one wicket apiece for India.
Indian captain Kishan expressed his content after the match.
‘To enter the final unbeaten in the tournament so far shows we have executed our plans well,’ said Kishan, adding ‘Anmolpreet and Sarfaraz brought us back in our innings and then the bowlers kept the pressure to restrict Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan skipper Charith Asalanka lamented on the fact that they conceded the match by a big margin despite making a good start.
‘I thought we did well to restrict the Indians both at the start and the end of their innings,’ he said. ‘But then we let slip the advantage.
‘The target was not difficult, but we kept losing wickets. No one stayed long enough to take us through.’
Meanwhile, Afghanistan qualified for the Plate Championship final with an eight-wicket win over New Zealand in Cox’s Bazar.
Aniket Parikh’s all-round display of 48 and 2-20 went in vain as the Afghans bowled out New Zealand for 135 and then reached 137-2 in 27.3 overs.
Pakistan bounced back after the quarter-final loss to the West Indies to rout Nepal by 122 runs in Fatullah and ensured a top-six finish in the 16-nation tournament.
Hasan Mohsin hit 117 and took four for 42 as Pakistan made 258 for eight after being asked to bat, and then bowled Nepal out for 136.
Source: New Age