ICC U-19 World Cup: Musheer Khan excels as India pummel New Zealand by 214 runs
BLOEMFONTEIN: Musheer Khan's superlative showing in the ongoing ICC U-19 World Cup continued as his second hundred trampled New Zealand by 214 runs in a Super Six encounter here on Tuesday.
After India's top performer Musheer's 131 backed by opener Adarsh Singh's 52 powered India to a huge total of 295/8, left-arm spinner Saumy Kumar Pandey (4/19) and pacer Raj Limbani (2/17) ripped apart New Zealand's top order to bowl them out for a mere 81 in 28.1 over.
Limbani struck on the first and the fifth ball of New Zealand innings to ensure momentum remained India's way throughout had parsimonious opening spell of 5-0-12-2.
India vice-captain Pandey finished with splendid figures of 10-2-19-4 as he knocked the stuffing out of the Black Caps' chase.
Left reeling at 27/4 in the Powerplay, New Zealand could never really stage a comeback as Indian colts like every edition are looking favourites to win the tournament.
For New Zealand, it was their third-heaviest defeat in terms of runs and also their third lowest total at the U-19 World Cup stage.
Earlier, Musheer flayed New Zealand's attack with his second century of the ICC U-19 World Cup while opener Adarsh Singh struck 52 as India posted a stiff 296–run target.
On a perfect batting wicket here at the Mangaung Oval, Musheer tore apart the Kiwis bowling line-up to become the first batter in the current competition to breach the 300-run mark, going past Pakistan's Shahzaib Khan with his stupendous effort.
En route his 131, Musheer blasted 13 fours and three sixes off just 125 balls and once showed admirable temperament to up the ante just when it was required.
Busy at the crease constantly, the 18-year-old Musheer motored on from one end unleashing strokes in all directions, while he began with an upper-cut for a four.
His innings were spruced with fine running between the wickets and ended in the death overs when he was looking to accelerate.
Musheer and Adarsh carried out a fine recovery job with a 77-run stand for the second wicket after an early blow for India.
Adarsh took charge of attacking the bowlers as he looked good while driving on the rise and also played the pull-shot with elan.
It was only unfortunate that he failed to keep a drive in check when Zac Cumming (1/37) teased him with one outside off.
A thick edge off Adarsh's bat flew to Oliver Tewatiya at point in the 18th over, which ended the charge for the left-handed Indian opener who made 52 off 58 balls with six fours.
There also was some disappointment in store for India captain Uday Saharan who failed to convert his start and was dismissed for 35 (57 balls, 2 fours). He had two fifties on trot at the start of the tournament.
Saharan, nevertheless, did a fine job of consolidating the innings for his side, putting on 87 with Musheer which also happened to be the best stand for India in this game.
However, Musheer's century and Adarsh's contribution at the top notwithstanding, India lost wickets in a flurry towards the end to fall short of breaching the 300-run mark, finishing at 295 for eight.
Brief scores: India U-19 295/8 in 50 overs (Adarsh Singh 52, Musheer Khan 131, Uday Saharan 35; Mason Clarke 4/64) beat New Zealand U-19 81 in 28.1 overs (Oscar Jackson 19; Raj Limbani 2/17, Saumy Pandey 4/19) by 214 runs.