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U-19 World Cup: Harnoor slams century as India thump Australia by 9 wickets in warm-up

 
Guyana (West Indies), Jan 12 (IANS) India got a huge morale-booster ahead of the U-19 Men's Cricket World Cup, defeating Australia by nine wickets in a warm-up match here on Wednesday (IST).

Australia won the toss and posted 268 runs, with 18-year-old captain Cooper Connolly taking centre stage. The all-rounder made a superb century which included 18 boundaries at a strike rate of 93.60, which finally ended after an excellent delivery from Raj Bawa in the 46th over.

The other Australian batters were, however, were less impressive, with only Tobias Snell (35 off 35 balls) managing a decent score. India's response was sublime, with Harnoor Singh leading the way with a century (100) which included 16 fours. He was supported by Shaik Rasheed's 72.

Both players unfortunately retired hurt, but captain Yash Dhull was able to lead his team comfortably over the line, with 15 deliveries to spare.

Bangladesh and Pakistan also recorded impressive victories in the warm-up matches. Pakistan eased past Canada, while Bangladesh impressed against Zimbabwe.

Bangladesh, after winning the toss and electing to bat, posted 277, particularly after a tricky start when opener Iftakher Hossain edged to slip in the third over departing for just 1. But Aich Mollah got his side back on track, making 82 from 82 deliveries with three sixes along the way.

Wicketkeeper Md Fahim also chipped in with a timely 33, before captain Rakibul Hasan went after the Zimbabwe attack, hitting 36 before being run-out. Tailender Ripon Mondol then managed a quickfire 39 from 26 balls to take the 2020 champions up to their final total.

Zimbabwe's reply didn't start on solid ground when opener Panashe Taruvinga went for a duck. The next man in Steven Saul, launched a counter-attack, scoring 39 from 45 deliveries, but once he outside edged to Fahim his team was facing an uphill task. They were eventually bowled out for 110 runs.

Pakistan put an impress display against Canada as they build up to their Group C opener against Papua New Guinea on Saturday. Pakistan won the toss and put the Canadians into bat in Conaree and quickly reduced them to 31/4.

Ethan Gibson offered some resistance with a stubborn 55, but Mihir Patel's team were eventually bowled out for 164.

Pakistan's response started poorly when Haseebullah departed for just three, but his opening partner Mohammad Shehzad scored 67. He was joined at the crease by Abdul Faseeh whi hit 72 unbeaten, to help his team to an eight-wicket victory.

Brief scores: Australia U-19 268 in 49.2 overs (Cooper Connolly 117, Tobias Snell 35; Rajvardhan Hangargekar 3/53, Ravi Kumar 4/34) lost to India 269/1 in 47.3 overs (Harnoor Singh 100 retd hurt, Shaik Rasheed 72 retd hurt, Yash Dhull 50 not out) by nine wickets.

--IANS

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