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Atharva Ankolekar's five helps India seal seventh title in nervy encounter

The India Under-19 team pose with the trophy Asian Cricket Council

India Under-19s 106 (Karan Lal 37, Hossain 3-8) beat Bangladesh Under-19s 101 (Akbar Ali 23, Ankolekar 5-28) by five runs

Left-arm spinner Atharva Ankolekar broke Bangladesh's spirited late resistance to help India defend 106, taking them to a seventh Under-19 Asia Cup title with a five-run win in a rain-interrupted, nerve-wracking encounter in Colombo. Needing 29 runs to win after being reduced to 78 for 8 in 21.1 overs, Tanzim Hasan Sakib and Rakibul Hasan put up a patient 23-run stand, taking Bangladesh close to their maiden title, before Ankolekar struck twice in the 33rd over to finish with figures of 5 for 28 in eight overs.

India started poorly after they elected to bat, reduced to 8 for 3 by seamers Sakib and Mrittunjoy Chowdhury within the first six overs. A 45-run stand between Dhruv Jurel and Shashwat Rawat helped rebuild the innings, before offspinner Shamim Hossain broke through, picking Rawat and next batsman Varun Lavande in the same over.

Karan Lal at No. 8 then shored up India after having walked in at 61 for 6 in the 20th over, hitting the day's highest score of 37, which played a major part in getting India to a three-digit score. He was the last batsman to be dismissed, bringing the Indian innings to a close in 32.4 overs. Chowdhury and Shahin Alam cleaned up the tail to finish with three wickets each.

In reply, Bangladesh too were dealt early blows with fast bowlers Akash Singh and Vidhyadhar Patel striking in succession to reduce them to 16 for 4 in 4.1 overs. India seized control when Bangladesh captain Akbar Ali and Chowdhury - who were the only ones to cross 20 in the innings - fell within a space of three balls. However, that led to the fight back by Sakib and Rakibul for the ninth wicket, with the duo batting for 11.2 overs.

Ankolekar ended the stand by trapping Sakib in front, leaving Bangladesh needing just six runs with one wicket remaining, and the match still poised on knife's edge. It ended two balls later, when Ankolekar bowled No. 11 Shahin Alam to wrap up a win for India. Ankolekar also finished as the tournament's highest wicket-taker, with 12 wickets in three matches.

B'desh U19 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st3Tanzid HasanParvez Hossain Emon
2nd10Parvez Hossain EmonMahmudul Hasan Joy
3rd0Towhid HridoyMahmudul Hasan Joy
4th3Shahadat Hossain (3)Mahmudul Hasan Joy
5th24Shahadat Hossain (3)Akbar Ali
6th11Akbar AliShamim Hossain
7th27Akbar AliMrittunjoy Chowdhury
8th0Mrittunjoy ChowdhuryTanzim Hasan Sakib
9th23Rakibul HasanTanzim Hasan Sakib
10th0Rakibul HasanShahin Alam