Rex Clementine

COLOMBO: India crushed England by 234 runs to enter the final of the ICC Under-19 World Cup at the R. Premadasa Stadium here on Wednesday. After India's formidable batting line-up had set a daunting target of 293, its bowlers came up with a spirited display to skittle out England for a paltry 58 in less than 21 overs.

New ball bowlers Abu Ahmed and Vijaykumar Yo Mahesh bowled a sensational spell of seam bowling to share the first six wickets, with Ahmed taking four.

Gaurav Dhiman and Piyush Chawla then took one apiece before Bipinbhai scalped the last two batsmen. Graeme White was the only one to reach double figures apart from the extras.

Solid start

Earlier, openers Gaurav Dhiman and `Man of the Match' Cheteshwar Pujara gave India a solid start by adding 72 runs in 80 deliveries. Dhiman made a quickfire 48 in 44 balls, with eight fours and a six, before he mistimed a sweep and was caught at short midwicket.

Meanwhile, Pujara, who was dropped on one by Varun Chopra at first slip, smashed an unbeaten 129 in 148 balls with ten fours and a six. Rohit Sharma, another in-form batsman, made 59 before he was run out.

With wickets in hand, the Indians accelerated towards the end and Pujara, who had played the sheet anchor role during most of his knock, began to attack.

In the last over bowled by Huw Waters, the Indian pair scored 25 runs.

Except for left-arm spinner White, the rest of the English bowling went for plenty of runs as India continued its unbeaten run in the tournament.

The scores:

India: G. Dhiman c Hamilton-Brown b White 48, C. Pujara (not out) 129, R. Sharma (run out) 59, R. Shukla c Nelson b James 3, M. Tehlan b James 26, R. (not out) 14, Extras (b-1, w-10, nb-2) 13, Total (for four wkts. in 50 overs) 292.

Fall of wickets: 1-72, 2-184, 3-189, 4-243.

England bowling: Nelson 5-1-14-0, Waters 5-1-55-0, White 10-0-33-1, James 10-0-60-2, Ali 10-0-51-0, Mullaney 3-0-35-0, Hamilton-Brown 7-0-43-0.

England: V. Chopra b Ahmed 2, M. Stoneman b Ahmed 2, M. Nelson c Das b Yo Mahesh 6, M. Ali c Shukla b Ahmed 4, R. Hamilton-Brown c Shah b Ahmed 1, B. Wright c Das b Yo Mahesh 2, S. Mullaney c Tehlan b Dhiman 7, N. James c Shukla b Chawla 5, G. White st. Shah b Bipinbhai 17, J. Simpson lbw b Bipinbhai 1, H. Waters (not out) 0, Extras (w-2, lb-2, nb-7) 11, Total (all out in 20.1 overs) 58.

Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-12, 3-12, 4-13, 5-17, 6-22, 7-35, 8-38, 9-49.

India bowling: Yo Mahesh 6-0-14-2, Ahmed 6-1-14-4, Dhiman 3-0-11-1, Chawla 4-1-17-1, Bipinbhai 1.1-1-0-2.

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