Sharjah: Sanju Samson and Kuldeep Yadav stole the limelight with individual brilliance as a strong India continued their unbeaten run with a crushing 245-run win over minnows Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the Under-19 World Cup, here, on Wednesday.
Opting to bat in their last league match, the reigning champions posted an imposing 301 for six before bowling out their hapless opponents for just 56 in 28.2 overs, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The convincing win ensured India topped the group.
Samson led the way with a blistering 85 off 48 balls, smashing eight fours and four sixes during his stay at the crease.
Defending a big total on what did not seem to be the best of batting surfaces, left-arm spinner Yadav returned with impressive figures of four for 10 off 8.2 overs.
The Indians were off to a steady start with openers Ankush Bains (59) and Akhil Herwadkar (37) sharing 58 runs in just under 12 overs. Captain Vijay Zol contributed 35 off 68 balls, but the momentum that the holders were looking for came only after Samson was at the crease.
Samson found an able ally in Shreyas Iyer, who scored 36 off 38 balls during a fourth-wicket stand of 116 runs that came off just 12.4 overs. He found the fence three times during the crucial partnership and by the time he fell to Alei Nao, he had already done his job, leaving his side at a comfortable 255 for 4 in the 46th over. Sarfaraz Khan consolidated towrads the end, smashing his way to a brisk 34 off only 19 balls with the help of three fours and a six. Sarfaraz’s knock only made it worse for PNG.
Nao was the best bowler for PNG, with figures of three for 46 from his 10 overs.
When their turn to bat came, Papua New Guinea proved to be too weak for a formidable Indian bowling unit, led admirably by Yadav and medium pacer Monu Kumar, who picked up three for 13 in six overs.