Indian colts entered the final of the Under-19 Asia Cup after defeating Afghanistan by 77 runs in the first semi-final at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday. Haryana lad Himanshu Rana scored a majestic century to take India to the final, which will be played on 23rd December.
Winning the toss, openers Prithvi Shaw and Himanshu Rana laid a solid foundation with a 40-run stand inside the first five overs. Shaw, who struck four fours, perished to Afghan pacer Wafadar for 22. After the dismissal of Shaw, Rana partnered Shubnam Gill to keep India’s momentum going as they took the side past the 100-run mark by the 17th over. The pair added 95 runs for the second wicket.
Rana remained unperturbed and went on to score 130 runs from 123 balls. After the dismissal of Rana in the 45th over, the Indian tail could manage to add only 23 runs to the team’s total to make it 294.
Chasing 295, Afghanistan never really recovered from the early setbacks as they kept losing wickets continuously. Their only resistance came in the form of a 94-run sixth wicket stand between Wahdat and Shamsurrahman as the duo tried to make something out of nothing. Wahdat struck four fours and three sixes to score an 86-ball 75 while Shamsurrahman scored 49 off 70 balls before becoming the second victim of Kamlesh Nagarkoti. Afghanistan eventually managed to score 217 runs in 50 overs to lose the game by 77 runs.
India will take on the winners of the second semifinal to be played between Bangladesh Under-19 and Sri Lanka Under-19 and will look to defend the title on December 23.