DUBAI - Defending champions India kicked off their campaign on a positive note as they comfortably defeated arch-rivals Pakistan by 40 runs in their first marquee clash of this edition's U-19 World Cup on Saturday.
The holders posted 262 for seven after opting to bat at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium and then bowled out their opponents for 222 in 48.4 overs, with off-spinner Deepak Hooda registering figures of five for 41. Sarfaraz Khan (74) and Sanju Samson (68) were the major contributors with the bat for the India U-19 side before Baroda player Hooda did the trick with the ball.
Pakistan were off to a solid start with the two openers, Sami Aslam (64) and Imamul Haq (39) putting 109 runs together for the opening wicket. But their batting fell apart in the face of some spirited bowling from the Indians, managing to add only 113 runs for the loss of nine wickets.
A productive powerplay period followed for India as both players used their feet against the spinners to eke out 36 runs. But Sarfaraz got out soon, falling to a miss-hit, before Samson too made his way back to the pavilion. Lower-order batsman Deepak Hooda made a quick-fire 22 off 18 balls to help India reach a target that could challenge their opponents. For Pakistan, Irfanullah Shah and Karamat Ali picked up two wickets each. In the other matches of the day, opener Shadman Islam became the first batsman of the 2014 tournament to hit a century as Bangladesh gave Afghanistan a cricket lesson when they won by 10 wickets at Abu Dhabi Oval 2. Three-time former winner Australia thumped Namibia by 101 runs at Zayed Cricket Stadium and Scotland made short work of Papua New Guinea (PNG) by six wickets at ICC Academy 1.