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Indians crush Scotland in Under-19 WC

Published: Thursday, February 9, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Colombo:India cruised into the Super League as they crushed a disappointing Scotland by eight wickets with 31 overs in hand in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup on Wednesday.

They bowled the Associate side out for just 112, knocked off the required runs in 19 overs and will now face Sri Lanka on Friday to decide which of them tops Group 'C'.

It was a real stroll for the pre-tournament favorites who beat Namibia by nine wickets in their opening match but coach Venkatesh Prasad said his players are under no illusions about the task ahead of them.

"I never thought these two games would be so easy but I had a chat with the team after the match and said we have to be realistic," he said.

"We have to know the next few matches will not be like that, we are aware of that and we have to make sure our approach is right." Prasad said there was still plenty of room for improvement among his players despite their conclusive success against Scotland.

"We still need to work on the amount of extras we are conceding," he admitted.

"I think it was one of Scotland's top-scorers (there were 18 extras with only two batsmen topping that mark) and although the bowlers may have got carried away we have to address it.

"From now on we have to be more consistent, more disciplined, more accurate and make the batsmen play.

Although India's victory confirmed both they and Sri Lanka have qualified ahead of the meeting between the two sides on Friday, Prasad said he and his players were still targeting victory in that show-down. "It is crucial because we would like to top the group and so play the second side in group B (the group that includes Australia, South Africa and the West Indies)," he said.

"And we would like to make winning a habit," he added.

Faced with their modest victory target India cruised home with Man of the Match Cheteshwar Pujara scoring an unbeaten 47 while captain Ravikant Shukla was pushed up the order and made 45.

"Our batsmen have not had enough middle practice which is why we changed the order here but the batsmen are confident and I am happy with what is happening," said Prasad.

Wednesday's match was played on a new pitch, which had a tinge of green in it and India had no hesitation in opting to bowl after wining the toss.

With seamer Abu Nechim Ahmed capturing three early wickets on the way to figures of 4-25, Scotland were 49-6 at one stage but their coach Peter Drinnen refused to blame the surface for his side's batting woes.

"We have got no excuses. We were going to bowl if we won the toss but there were no problems with the pitch," he said.

Scotland's last group match is against Namibia on Thursday with both sides looking for their first win of the tournament and Drinnen said his side had injury concerns ahead of the encounter.

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