India beats SL to clinch Under-19 title
Published: Thursday, November 6, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
'It is for Allah and selectors to decide'
Lahore: India were crowned Asian Under-19 champions after overwhelming Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the final at the eastern city of Lahore's Gaddafi stadium. India beat Sri Lanka's 225 all out in 49.4 overs for the loss of only two wickets in 44.4 overs on Thursday. Captain Ambati Rayudu received a trophy from Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief executive Ramiz Raja and Asian Cricket Council chief executive Ashraful Huq. "It's a great team effort to become Asian junior champions, said Rayudu. "We are pleased to have won the tournament in Pakistan and would tell people back home that it's a fantastic place where we were looked after well." The juniors' visit to Pakistan was the first by an Indian team since another junior team toured Pakistan in 1998. India snapped all bilateral cricketing ties with Pakistan in 2000 over political tensions but New Delhi's latest offer to revive sporting links and the junior teams tour have raised hopes of a senior Indian team touring Pakistan in February for the first time since 1989. Sri Lankan captain Fervaiz Maharoof hit 57 for his team, which was pegged back by some fine paced bowling from Irfan Pathan who took 3-33 and Sunny Singh who grabbed 3-35. Opener Robin Uthapa hit 88 off 86 balls to set the victory before Rayudu and Rakesh Solanki hit unbeaten half centuries. Pathan, whose name would come under consideration for the senior Indian team's tour of Australia next month, was declared player of the tournament with 19 wickets, defeating also Bangladesh and hosts Pakistan.