U-19 World Cup: Musheer shines brightly as India crush Ireland by 201 runs

India U-19 team celebrating victory against Ireland.
India U-19 team celebrating victory against Ireland.

BLOEMFONTEIN (SOUTH AFRICA), Jan 25: Musheer Khan gave ample display of his immense talent with a superb hundred as India steam-rolled minnows Ireland by a whopping 201 runs to virtually qualify for the Super Six round of the ICC U-19 World Cup here on Thursday.
Courtesy Musheer’s blitzkrieg — 118 off 106 balls, India posted an imposing 301 for 7 against Ireland, which in any case, would have been an uphill challenge to surpass.
In the end, Ireland managed a paltry 100 in 29.4 overs with medium pacer Naman Tiwari (4/53 in 10 overs) and left-arm spinner Saumy Kumar Pandey (3/21 in 9 overs) doing the bulk of the damage. Seven Irish batters failed to reach double figures.
The Indian team was just too good for the Irish and the gulf in standard was evident across all departments.
India have now won both their group league games and the game against USA, which is ‘mini-India’ with 11 expats of Indian descent, is expected to be another walk in the park.
However, the day belonged to 18-year-old Mumbai boy Musheer.
On the same day when his elder brother Sarfaraz scored 161 in an unofficial Test versus England Lions in Ahmedabad, thousands of kilometres away in Bloemfontein, Musheer paced his innings brilliantly hitting nine fours and four sixes in the process.
“We both have same style of play. I am very happy but not satisfied as I need to play much better in the coming games. In the last match, I was in a bit of rush but today I was patient and waited for the loose deliveries. The six I hit over mid-wicket off the fast bowler was special. All thanks to Almighty Allah,” Musheer said after the match.
In the end, Sachin Dhas, perhaps the most exciting talent in the U-19 set-up, smashed 21 off 9 balls to take India past 300-run mark, which is the highest score in an U-19 international at this ground.
India scored 119 runs in the last 10 overs.
However, the Indian innings was about Musheer’s brilliant game awareness as he took his time before unleashing a brutal assault on the Irish bowlers.
He treated opposition’s best pacer Oliver Riley (3/55) with disdain, hitting him for two sixes.
Saharan, who played the second fiddle to Adarsh Singh in the opening game, was once again brilliant as an anchor, rotating the strike well and letting Musheer play his natural attacking game.
Brief Scores:
India U-19 301/7 (Musheer Khan 118, Uday Saharan 75, Oliver Riley 3/55).
Ireland 100 in 29.4 overs (Naman Tiwari 4/53, Saumy Kumar Pandey 3/21). (PTI)