Defending champions India have flexed their muscles ahead of the Under 19 World Cup with a 120-run win over New Zealand in a quadrangular series warm-up match in Durban.
Having won the toss and elected to bat first on a wearing, bowler-friendly pitch, India demonstrated the strength of its batting line-up by scoring a meritorious 257 for seven in its 50 overs – thanks mainly to a 135-run opening partnership from Siddhesh Veer and Tilak Varma.
Siddhesh scored 71 from 87 balls and Tilak, 59 from 77, with the other major contribution coming from Sashwat Rawat (39 off 34) – the only player in the entire match to score at better than a run-a-ball.
Of the seven wickets to fall in the India innings, six were claimed by New Zealand spinners, with Jesse Tashkoff taking two for 37; Adithya Ashok two for 48, and Beckham Wheeler-Greenall two for 47.
In response, New Zealand were immediately in trouble, losing its first three wickets with the score at five as the left-arm quick Sushant Mishra (three for 35) warmed to his work, ably supported by his opening partner, CTL Rakshan (one for seven).
New Zealand’s best contribution with the bat came from Wheeler-Greenall, who struck five fours and two sixes while bringing up 50 off 59 balls, before losing his wicket to the next delivery.
Wheeler-Greenall combined with Tashkoff in a fifth wicket partnership worth 32 runs and dominated a sixth wicket stand with Ben Pomare worth 35 runs.
With Zimbabwe claiming a surprise win over South Africa in the other quadrangular series match, unbeaten India remains at the top of the table with only run rate separating the other three sides.
India will play South Africa in the final tomorrow night, and New Zealand and Zimbabwe will play-off for third and fourth.