Dubai, Feb 17: India survived a scare from minnows Scotland as Sarfaraz Khan eventually bailed out the defending champions to win their Group A match by five wickets and qualify for the quarterfinals of the ICC Under-19 World Cup here Monday.
Electing to bat first, Scotland could not put up against the Indian spinners and were bowled out for 88 runs in only 29.4 overs. Man of the match Kuldeep Yadav (4/28) clinched a hat-trick to set an easy target for the Indian batsman at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
However, the Indian chase suffered a huge jolt at the start when they tottered at 22/5. But Sarfaraz’s unbeaten 45 and Deepak Hooda (25 not out) saw India through to the end and the Asian team won the match in 22.3 overs.
Scotland’s decision to bat first did not turn out the way they wanted it with only opener Andrew Umeed (44) showing any kind of resistance. The Scottish batsman had nothing much to talk about as Gavin Main (16) was the only other batsman to reach double figures apart from Umeed.
Pacers Chama Milind (1/16) and Avesh Khan (1/14) kept their line and length to pick up a wicket apiece in five overs each. But the main job was done by the spinners Yadav and offie Aamir Gani.
Left arm chinaman bowler Yadav (4/28) became the first Indian bowler, and second overall, to take a hat-trick in the U-19 World Cup when he scalped Nick Farrar (0), Kyle Stirling (0) and Alex Baum (5). Later on, he also went on to pick Mark Watt (0). Varanasi boy Gani, on the other hand, displayed his skills to notch 4/28 in 9.4 overs, finishing off the Scottish innings.
Chasing a measly target of 89, the Indian top five perished for single digits, including skipper Vijay Zol (4), as India was tottering at 22/5. India almost made a mess of things when it slipped to 22/5 with left-arm spinner Chayank Gosain (3/31) and Main (2/20) causing the damage.
But Khan and Hooda struck the all important 70-run sixth-wicket partnership to take the defending champions home. Hooda scored two fours and gave good support to Khan, who hit five boundaries and a six in his 51-ball innings.
India now sit atop Group A with four points from two wins in two matches and play their last league match against Papua New Guinea Feb 19 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Brief scores: Scotland 88 all out in 29.4 overs (Andrew Umeed 44; Aamir Gani 4/28, Kuldeep Yadav 4/28) lost to India 92/5 in 22.3 overs (Sarfaraz Khan 45 not out, Deepak Hooda 24 not out; Chayank Gosain 3/31).