Christchurch: India got its ICC Under-19 World Cup super league campaign off to an emphatic start beating the West Indies by eight wickets in Christchurch.
The defending champion was rarely troubled by a disappointing West Indies side that will have to improve against Sri Lanka and Pakistan to have any hope of qualifying for next week's semi-finals. The super league phase offers a more meaningful gauge of a team's standard, and India recovered from its shock loss to Bangladesh last week by beating the West Indies with more than 22 overs to spare. India's opening bowlers Irfan Pathan and Siddharth Trivedi bowled a tidy line and length to limit the West Indies batsmen's scoring opportunities. Wickets fell at regular intervals as the West Indies succumbed to a succession of poor strokes and only Lorenzo Ingram (43) looked capable of making a significant contribution. Its weakness against spin was particularly evident with left-armer Shankara Rao taking two for 8 and off spinner Rajesh Sharma two for 28 as the West Indies made 155 for nine. In reply, opener Parthiv Patel played several glorious cover drives as he made a quirky 47 before falling with the score on 79. The impressive Maninder Bisla followed up his two for 29 with an unbeaten 68 as India ambled to victory. "We played extremely well today and it was a resounding win," said Dilip Vengsarkar, the former India Test batsman and member of the Under-19 coaching staff. "I'm very happy with the ways the boys are playing but they need to keep it up. "Our batting is not our strong point. Our bowling attack is very good but we need to ensure we put runs on the board first. We had one bad day against Bangladesh when we played on a terrible pitch, but hopefully we have got that out of our system." Opener Paul Valthaty has been sent back to India after suffering a nasty cut above his eye while batting against Bangladesh when his side was beaten by two wickets. Elsewhere in group one of the super league Pakistan held its nerve to beat Sri Lanka in a tense match at Lincoln. The Pakistan innings was pegged back by the run-outs of danger men Kamran Sajid (31) and Mohammad Fayyaz (53), and some tidy bowling by Dammika Prasad (four for 30) saw Sri Lanka bowl out its opponents for 184. Sri Lanka lost both openers inside the first three overs as Pakistan took hold of the game early on and at 97 for seven Sri Lanka was seemingly heading for a heavy defeat. However, Gamini Kumara (45) added 50 for the eighth wicket with Prasad as Sri Lanka fought back, and with just two overs to go it needed 12 runs to win with one wicket in hand. Kumara hit the second ball of the penultimate over from Irfan-Ud-Din for six, but instead of picking off the singles to win the game, he perished trying to repeat the stroke two balls later as Pakistan triumphed by five runs. "At the moment we are not getting enough runs on the board," conceded Pakistan coach Haroon Rasheed. "We must play for the whole 50 overs in the next games against West Indies and Pakistan, but predicting results at this level is so difficult because we know very little about each other's team." The Plate Championship got underway in Auckland and there were no surprises as Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, the two sides with Test match status in the competition, both registered easy wins. Bangladesh bowled out Papua New Guinea for just 75 with Safaq Al Zabir taking four for 29 and Mohammad Wassel Uddin three for 13. Bangladesh knocked off the required runs in just 18.1 overs to win by nine wickets. Zimbabwe hit 291 for seven against Kenya with Tatenda Taibu, Andy Flower's deputy in the senior side, scoring 65 and Charles Coventry 46. Kenya could muster just 80 all out as it suffered its fourth consecutive defeat of the tournament with Waddington Mwayenga taking five for 21. On Monday England meets New Zealand at Lincoln and Australia takes on South Africa at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval. In the Plate Championship Nepal plays Canada and Scotland faces Namibia.
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