Bloemfontein, Jan 20 (PTI) Left-handed opener Adarsh Singh and skipper Uday Saharan hit patient fifties as India managed a decent 251 for 7 against a disciplined Bangladesh in their U-19 World Cup opener here on Saturday.
Left-arm seamer Maruf Mridha (5/43) did damage at the start and during slog overs by bowling in right areas but would be a bit miffed with his skipper, who got his calculations wrong and didn't let him complete his quota of 10 overs.
Possessing a skiddy action like Mustafizur Rahaman, Maruf varied his lengths, bowled closer to stumps at the start and mixed cutters with wide yorkers at the death to make life difficult for the India colts.
While the Indian batters found it difficult to get boundaries, the target might not be all that bad as average score of teams batting first in Youth ODIs (U-19 ODI) at this ground is 201, and the highest successful chase is 243. In fact, India's 251/7 is the third highest score at this ground.
The team's designated finisher Sachin Dhas showed admirable technique and temperament during death overs with a nice little unbeaten cameo of 26 off 20 balls that took the score past 250-run mark.
The pulled six off seamer Rohanat Doullah Borson was a treat for the eyes.
However, the foundation of the Indian innings was laid by Adarsh (76 off 96 balls) and skipper Saharan (64 off 94 balls), who added 116 runs for the third wicket in nearly 24 overs (23.5).
The two youngsters didn't look too comfortable against the Bangladesh spinners -- offie Sheikh Paevez Jibon (0/39 in 10 overs) and left-arm spinner Mahfuzur Rahaman Rabby (1/41 in 10 overs), who is also the skipper of the side.
The two spinners didn't let the set batters get away as Adarsh had six fours and Saharan only four. In fact, Indian batters got only 14 boundaries and two sixes in 50 overs.
Bangladesh bowlers bowled 156 dot balls, which is 26 overs of the Indian innings. PTI KHS KHS AH AH