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U-19 World Cup: Angkrish Raghuvanshi, Harnoor Singh set up India’s big win over Ireland


Harnoor Singh Pannu and Angkrish Raghuvanshi are interesting case studies. Both grew up in the most ideal of conditions, well-supported by their families. They are from sporting backgrounds, moved cities to pursue their dreams, and enrolled in cricket academies with good facilities and technical expertise.

Raghuvanshi, 16, the youngest player in the India Under-19 team, moved to Mumbai from Delhi at the age of 11. His opening partner, Pannu, who’ll turn 19 later this month, was 12 when he shifted his base to Chandigarh from Jalandhar.

Avneesh Raghuvanshi, Angkrish’s father, has represented India in tennis, and mother Malika has played basketball for the country. Angkrish’s younger brother Krishang is also a budding tennis player. Raghuvanshi’s coach is former India and Mumbai all-rounder Abhishek Nayar, and the youngster has lived at his coach’s residence for the last five years.

Cricket runs in Harnoor’s family. Harnoor’s grandfather Rajinder Singh Pannu played first-class cricket for Punjab and coached the DAV College, Jalandhar team for 30 years (1965-1995). Harnoor’s father Birender, a lawyer by profession, has represented Punjab U-19. His uncle Bhupinder Singh Junior was player of the tournament in the inaugural U-19 Asia Cup held in Dhaka in 1989. Harnoor’s elder brother Jasnoor Pannu has represented Punjab at the U-16 and U-19 levels.

Raghuvanshi was honing his skills under the watchful eyes of Nayar, while around 1600 km away Pannu was doing the same at an academy in Chandigarh, where his uncle Harminder Singh Pannu was a coach.

On Wednesday, the openers, miffed with their poor outing against South Africa in India’s opening match of the U-19 World Cup, set the tone with a 164-run stand in a 174-run win over Ireland.

With six team-mates, including captain Yash Dhull and vice-captain Shaik Rasheed, unavailable for selection after testing positive for Covid-19, India fielded a depleted squad against Ireland.

Harnoor and Angkrish struck fluent half-centuries, and a 17-ball 39 by Rajvardhan Hangargekar in the slog overs helped India put up a challenging total of 307 for 5. Nishant Sindhu led the side as Dhull and Rasheed are in isolation.

Speaking to The Indian Express from Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago, Pannu said: “I got out cheaply in the first match, and I was miffed the way I got out. We were determined to give the team a good start, and luckily we managed to put on a good partnership.”

Harnoor hit 12 fours in his 101-ball knock of 88 and was looking set for a century before left-arm spinner Matthew Humphreys trapped him in front. The in-form southpaw, who was player of the match, batted with elegance. His drives and flicks were exquisite.

“I should have scored the hundred but nevertheless happy to get some runs under my belt,” adds Pannu, who amassed 251 runs in the recently-concluded Asia Cup. The opener also scored a century against Australia in a World Cup warm-up game.

Angkrish struck 10 fours and two sixes in his run-a-ball 79 and was the aggressor among the duo. He completed his half-century by hitting a six. He cut, pulled and also drove aggressively.

He was visibly unhappy with the way he got out. “I wanted to guide the ball for a boundary and ended up slicing it to the wicketkeeper. Not an ideal way to get out when you are well settled. Should have scored a century,” Raghuvanshi told the broadcasters during the innings break.

Sindhu (36) and Raj Bawa (42) shared a 64-run stand for the third wicket, ensuring that the platform created by the openers was well-utilised for a big score and Hangargekar’s five sixes took India past the 300-run mark.

For Ireland, Muzamil Sherzad (3/79) was the most successful while Jamie Forbes (1/38) was the most economical.

The total proved to be an uphill task for the Irish batters as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals and got bundled out for 133 in 39 overs.

For India, Aneeshwar Gautam (2/11), Garv Sangwan (2/23), Kaushal Tambe (2/8), Hangargekar (1/17), Ravi Kumar (1/11) and Vicky Ostwal (1/22) shared the spoils. The win also cemented India’s place in the quarterfinals.

Brief Scores

India U-19: 307 for 5 in 50 overs (Harnoor Singh 88, Angkrish Raghuvanshi 79; Muzamil Sherzad 3/79, Jamie Forbes 1/38)

Ireland U-19: 133 all out in 39 overs (Scott MacBeth 32, Joshua Cox 28; Kaushal Tambe 2/8, Aneeshwar Gautam 2/11)

Australia’s batters see them through tricky Scotland test

Meanwhile, three-time champions Australia were pushed by an impressive Scotland team but managed to seal a win that marks the perfect response after their defeat to Sri Lanka on Monday.

Australia sent Scotland in to bat first at the Conaree Cricket Centre, a decision that looked like it might backfire when Scotland’s openers made a positive start.

Charlie Tear and Oliver Davidson took their team beyond 80 before Davidson (33) was run-out.

Wicketkeeper Tear, hit nine boundaries on the way to a half-century, before falling to an Issac Higgins delivery just three overs after his fellow opener departed.

However, Thomas Mackintosh kept up Scotland’s momentum after surviving a close lbw appeal facing his second delivery.

Joined at the crease by Samuel Elstone, Mackintosh found his touch and the pair put on an impressive 71 partnership, before an outside edge from Elstone found Cooper Connolly.

Although some good fielding from William Salzmann saw skipper Charlie Peet run out on his very first delivery, Scotland ended on a respectable 236 for eight.

But their opponents’ response started well, with run-machine Teague Wyllie and Campbell Kellaway attacking the powerplay.

The pair stuck 100 on the scoreboard without loss, before Kellaway (47) departed just shy of a half-century.

That couldn’t stop an impressive Australia chase, with his replacement at the crease Aidan Cahill smashing 72 from 45 balls.

Wyllie (101 not out) reached his century to help complete the job as Australia reached their target with seven wickets remaining.

Despite a third straight loss in the tournament, Scotland will enter the Plate quarter-finals with their confidence boosted after producing their best all-round performance in their final Group D game.

Brief Scores

Scotland U-19: 236 for 8 in 50 overs (Charlie Tear 54, Tomas Mackintosh 54; Aidan Cahill 2/33, William Salzman 2/38)

Australia U-19: 240 for 3 in 39.5 overs (Teague Wylie 101 not out, Aidan Cahil 72; Olivier Davidson 2/45)

Today’s fixtures

Pakistan v Afghanistan, Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad and Tobago

Bangladesh v Canada, Conaree Cricket Center, St Kitts and Nevis

England v UAE, Warner Park Cricket Stadium, St Kitts and Nevis





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