Right-arm paceman Kartik Tyagi dismantled Australia with his pace and swing and helped India confirm their semifinal berth with a 74-run win in the quarter-final of the 2020 Under-19 World Cup at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Tuesday (January 28).
Earlier, for India, Yashasvi Jaiswal scored 62 but the Australian bowlers didn't allow any Indian batsman to dictate terms. Things could have been worse for the Men in Blue if Atharva Ankolekar and Ravi Bishnoi wouldn't have chipped in with vital runs down the order. The two added 61 runs for the seventh wicket, with Ankolekar remaining unbeaten on 54-ball 55, studded with five fours and six. The bowling all-rounder played a key role in helping India finish on 233 for 9 in 50 overs.
Australia haven't beaten India in a U-19 encounter since April 7, 2012 but the latter would have fancied their chances after restricting India to a below-par total on a surface that was slightly tricky. However, Indian bowlers stepped up and did the job for their team, with Tyagi finishing with figures of 4 for 24. Opener Sam Fanning (127-ball 75) put up a good fight but hardly found any support from the other end as Australia were bundled out for 159 in 43.3 overs.
Australian pacers Matthew Willans and Connor Sully got enough movement off the surface in the first few overs after captain Harvey won the toss and opted to bowl first in the quarter-final against India. Indian openers Jaiswal and Divyansh Saxena found it slightly difficult to play their shots through the rise. Jaiswal however started on a positive note, crafting Sully for a solid cover drive for a boundary before whipping one over backward square leg for a maximum.
Both openers were beaten quite a few times but that didn't stop them from playing their natural game. Willans gave nothing away in his first three overs but Saxena and Jaiswal thumped him for a boundary each in his fourth which forced Harvey to bring Corey Kelly (2 for 45) into the attack.
The move paid off as the right-arm seamer got one to angle away from Saxena and the left-handed batsman ended up edging it to the wicketkeeper after scoring 14. Apart from that one over where Willans gave away nine runs, the 19-year-old conceded only four in his other five overs of his first spell.
Australia introduced a spinner in the 13th over and offspinner Todd Murphy (2 for 40) had left-hander Tilak Varma (2) caught at slip. The No. 3 batsman never looked comfortable during his brief stay and eventually ended up edging a flighted delivery that bounced a bit more than he would have expected to Harvey at slip. Before the dust had settled, Sully returned to knock over Priyam Garg (5) with an inswinger, reducing India to 54 for 3. There wasn't much movement but Garg went for a needless on-drive and got himself into an awkward position and ended up getting castled.
Despite wickets falling at the other end, Jaiswal kept one end intact and batted with a lot of maturity. The left-hander got to his third fifty of the tournament by smoking Tanveer Sangha for a maximum over deep mid-wicket. Just when it looked like India were getting some momentum into their innings, Sangha sent back Jaiswal in his very next over. Short and on the stumps, the delivery was there to hit but Jaiswal failed to get any bat to it and it ricocheted off his right leg and crashed into the stumps. The 18-year-old smashed six fours and two sixes before taking that slow and long walk back to the pavilion.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Dhruv Jurel (48-ball 15) played a lot of deliveries to get himself in but could just never get going. The pressure started building on the vice-captain as India's innings was going nowhere and Jurel tried to break the shackles by attacking Murphy but ended up miscuing it straight into the air and the keeper completed the formalities by taking a simple catch. The Australian captain kept rotating his bowlers and never allowed the Indian batsmen to settle in.
Siddhesh Veer too looked good but couldn't capitalise on his start. India were operating at somewhere around four runs per over and they had no other option but to up the ante. Veer slammed Kelly for two boundaries in one over but the fast bowler got his revenge in the same over, getting Veer caught at third man for 25.
The onus fell on the shoulders of the bowling all-rounders to get India to a respectable total and that's when Ankolekar and Bishnoi put their hands up. The two didn't take unnecessary risks and kept the scoreboard moving with ones and twos. Bishnoi made 30 off 31 before he was run out in the 48th over. Meanwhile, Ankolekar kept going and struck a couple of lusty blows in the final two overs to complete his half century. It was largely because of his effort, that too with a damaged right hand, that India recovered from 144 for 6 and added a crucial 78 runs in the final 10 overs.
In response, Tyagi wreaked havoc in the first over of the second innings as Australia lost three wickets inside five deliveries. Jake Fraser-McGurk was run out on the very first ball of the second innings and had to depart without facing a single ball. The paceman from Uttar Pradesh then pinned Mackenzie Harvey (4) right in front of the leg-stump before knocking Lachlan Hearne over with a superb inswinging yorker on the very next delivery. Tyagi missed out on a hat-trick but had Oliver Davies (2) caught at slip cordon to reduce Australia to 19 for 4 by the end of three overs.
Australia needed some stability and that's when Fanning and Patrick Rowe (21) joined hands to pull Australia out of the bog. The two batted with a strike rate of close to 50 and somehow managed to keep the scoreboard ticking. Both Fanning and Rowe were happy to take the backseat and that allowed Indian spinners to bowl with freedom. The likes of Ravi Bishnoi, Siddhesh Veer and Atharva Ankolekar hardly have any runs but the two batsmen did manage to add 51 runs for the fifth wicket.
With a partnership building, skipper Priyam Garg brought Tyagi back into the attack and his premier paceman didn't disappoint. He got one to move away from Rowe who tried to defend it but the ball kissed the outside edge of his willow and went straight into the hands of the wicketkeeper.
Coming in at No. 7, Liam Scott - the concussion sub for Corey Kelly - once again started rebuilding Australia's innings along with Fanning who completed his fifty in the 32nd over. The two kept Australia in the game but the required rate soon went above 8, and that's when the two started taking more chances. Scott smoked Akash Singh for a six over deep mid-wicket and was just starting to get a move on when Bishnoi had him caught behind for 35 and broke the dangerous-looking 81-run stand.
Akash then got rid of Fanning in the very next over to seal the deal for India. And if that wasn't enough, Australia's last-match hero Sully was run out on the next delivery. The left-arm pacer then knocked over the last two batsmen to complete the formalities, finishing with figures of 3 for 30.