Defending champions India crashed out of the Under-19 World Cup after suffering a three-wicket defeat at the hands of a disciplined England side in the quarterfinals in Dubai on Saturday. (Scorecard | Highlights)
Batting first, India managed 221 for eight, and then saw England chase down the target with five balls to spare at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
On conditions favourable to seamers due to overcast conditions, Deepak Hooda (68) and Sarfaraz Khan's 46-ball 52 helped India post a decent total on a slowish track.
But England rode on Ben Duckett's 64-ball 61 and Joe Clarke's 42 off 45 balls to enter the last-four stage. Needing four off the last over, Rob Sayer slashed left-arm seamer Chama Milind over covers to complete the job, leaving his teammates jubilant.
However, it was the penultimate over bowled by offie Hooda, which cost India dear as he conceded 11 runs to bring the equation down to a gettable four off six balls from 15 runs in two overs. Earlier, seamer Matthew Fisher was the most successful bowler for England, picking up three wickets for 55 runs, his early blows giving his team the initial advantage.
Left-arm chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav, India's most impressive bowler in the event, took as many wickets but, on this day, he ended up being on the losing side. The seventh-wicket stand of 51 runs between Clarke and Rob Jones (28 not out) proved to be crucial for England. Jones then added 23 runs with Sayer (10) to help their side cross the line.
Opting to bat first, India were off to a disastrous start losing four wickets with just 24 runs on the board, including last match's top-scorer Sanju Samson. Deepak Hooda tried to stabilise the innings and played carefully along with skipper Vijay Zol, to keep the team in the hunt for a good score.
Zol found the fence thrice before falling to off-spinner Robert Sayer in the 33rd over, bringing an end to a fruitful 87-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Hooda. Hooda carried on for a while before Jonathan Tattersall ran the batsman out at the end of 40th over with the holders still in some spot of bother at 147/6.
India needed a push at this stage of the game, and they got it through Sarfaraz. One of the most consistent among Indian batsmen in the tournament, Sarfaraz not only ran the singles and twos well, but also struck four boundaries to maintain a healthy strike-rate. The enterprise Sarfaraz exhibited saw India add 25 runs in the last 13 balls, helping the team register a challenging total, which looked almost out of bounds after pacer Matthew Fisher jolted the Indian batting with the wickets of Akhil Herwadkar, Samson and Ricky Bhui.
The start was delayed by half an hour due to fog and with conditions remaining overcast for a while, the England seamers found made life difficult for the Indian batsmen.
Brief scores: India U-19 221/8 in 50 overs (Deepak Hooda 68, Sarfaraz Khan 52, Vijay Zol 48, Matt Fisher 3/55)lost to England U-19 222/7 in 49.1 overs (Ben Duckett 61, Joe Clarke 42, Kuldeep Yadav 3/46) by 3 wickets.