U-19 WORLD CUP: McSweeney 156, Ralston 7-15 bulldoze PNG

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The Under-19 Cricket World Cup continued in New Zealand with victories for Australia, India and Pakistan. Australia demolished Papua New Guinea by 311 runs, India trounced Zimbabwe by 10 wickets and Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka by three wickets.

Australia Under-19 opener Nathan McSweeney’s 156, aided by half-centuries from captain Jason Sangha and Param Uppal, and a seven-wicket haul from fast bowler Jason Ralston handed PNG a mammoth 311-run drubbing in Lincoln.

Having set a target of 371, Ralston ran through the PNG line-up with figures of 7-15. While Zak Evans and Ryan Hadley took out one wicket a piece, Ralston’s offensive, across 6.5 overs, proved sufficient to ensure PNG were bowled out for 59 inside 24.5 overs, with only one batsman – Leke Morea (20) – notching up a double-digit score.

SUMMARY: Australia Under-19 370-8 (McSweeney 156, Sangha 88, Tau 2-42) beat Papua New Guinea Under-19 59 (Morea 20, Ralston 7-15) by 311 runs.

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Shubman Gill finished on 90 not out

Another day, another lopsided contest. India exhibited their batting depth in making light work of Zimbabwe to maintain an all-win record in the group stages. This meant India will enjoy a week off and play their knockout clash, in all likelihood against Bangladesh, in Queenstown on January 26.

With little or no pressure to contend with, India’s openers treated the 155 chase as an extended net session. Shubman Gill displayed his punch and power by strolling to a 36-ball half-century, with his stability and strong bottom-hand in playing the short-arm jab for six over deep midwicket being the standout.

With a few more runs to knock off, he may have had a crack at becoming India’s first centurion in the tournament. He finished 90 not out courtesy 14 fours and a six.

SUMMARY: India Under-19 155-0 (Gill 90*, Desai 56*) beat Zimbabwe Under-19 154 all out (Shumba 36, Roche 31, Roy 4-20) by 10 wickets.

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Man-of-the-Match Ali Zaryab collects his prize

A slim and slightly tense chase against Sri Lanka helped Pakistan seal a three-wicket win and a quarter-final berth, led by a combined five wickets between their quick bowlers Shaheen Afridi (2-41) and Suleman Shafqat (3-29).

The duo helped bowl Sri Lanka out for 188 before the chase was steered by a half-century from left-hand middle-order batsman Ali Zaryab and later sealed by consecutive sixes from No. 9 Muhammad Musa.

Put in to bat, Sri Lanka struggled to build substantial partnerships once opening bowler Arshad Iqbal struck in the third over. Only the No. 4 batsman, Jehan Daniel, held the innings together with a 53, stitching together a sixth-wicket stand of 76 with Ashen Bandara (37) that took them towards 150.

Pakistan captain Hasan Khan broke the partnership and Shafqat wiped out the tail to dismiss Sri Lanka in 48.2 overs.

SUMMARY: Pakistan Under-19 190-7 (Zaryab 59, Rashmika 3-47) beat Sri Lanka Under-19 188 (Daniel 53, Shafqat 3-29, Afridi 2-41) by three wickets.

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