COOLIDGE (ANTIGUA): Left-arm seamer Ravi Kumar bowled a sensational opening spell as India’s ‘class of 2022’ exacted a sweet revenge, ousting defending champions Bangladesh by five wickets to enter the semi-final of ICC U-19 World Cup here on Saturday.
India will meet Australia in the semi-final on February 2, having won an unprecedented seven out of nine U-19 World Cup quarter-finals.
Son of a CRPF personnel, the Uttar Pradesh-born Ravi, who has followed footsteps of his illustrious state senior Mohammed Shami to ply his trade for Bengal, ended with excellent figures of 7-1-14-3 on a tacky track as Bangladesh were all out for 111 in 37.1 overs.
Bangladesh were 56 for 7 at one stage before SM Mehrob (30) and Ashiqur Zaman (16) added 50 for the eighth wicket to take the team past 100-run mark. In reply, India chased down the target in 30.5 overs with opener Angkrish Raghuvanshi’s 44 being the top-score.
Skipper Yash Dhull scored a chiselled 20 not out and his deputy Shaik Rasheed making 26 as the victory was even more satisfying considering the youngsters came back without any training post recovery from COVID-19.
It was a fitting reply from the ‘Boys in Blue’ to the ‘Tiger Cubs’ after their senior batch lost an ill-tempered final of 2020 edition which was followed by boorish behaviour from both sides, especially Bangladeshis, whose reactions has always been over the top when it came to beating India.
For the current batch, the win was also necessary after they were beaten twice by this same side last year during a four-nation meet in Kolkata.
India won a good toss and Ravi made full use of the moisture underneath with initial movement in the air helping team’s cause.
Ravi, who has the natural ability to bring the ball back into right-handers, had right-handed Mahfijul Islam (2) beaten all-ends up to an inswinger in the second over. —PTI