India, coached by Rahul Dravid, continued their dominance in the Asia Cup as they clinched the U-19 title by defeating Sri Lanka in the final at the R Premadasa stadium in Colombo on Friday.
This was India’s second win in the Asia Cup U-19 tournament, having won the title in 2013/14 by defeating Pakistan by 40 runs and sharing the trophy in the first edition held in Malaysia in 2012/13.
India, who had entered the final undefeated, won the toss and chose to bat and their top order made solid contributions. Prithvi Shaw (39) and Himanshu Rana shared a solid 67-run opening partnership. Rana, who had scored a fifty and a century in the league stages, continued his great form to notch up 71. He was given good support by Shubhman Gill, who smashed 70 and shared a 88-run stand for the second wicket.
At 203/2, India were staring at a total of over 300 but some disciplined bowling from the Sri Lankans resulted in just 70 runs in the last 10 overs. Nipun Ransika and Praveen Jayawickrama picked up three wickets each as India ended up on 273/8.
In response, Sri Lanka lost Vishva Chaturanga cheaply but they were buoyed by a stand of 92 between Reven Kelly and Hasitha Boyagoda. Kelly smashed 62 and looked good for a big score but he slogged Abhishek Sharma straight to deep mid wicket.
At 196/3, Sri Lanka looked to be on course but a couple of wickets from Rahul Chahar (3/22) and a couple more from Sharma (4/37) resulted in a collapse where the hosts lost seven wickets for 43 runs.
Himanshu Rana and Shubhman Gill were the leading run-scorers for India in the tournament while Chahar was the leading wicket-taker.