Christchurch, Jan 21(ANI): Defending ICC U19 Cricket World Cup champion India lost to England by 31 runs in the final group stage match in Lincoln, New Zealand on Thursday.
The win means England has topped Group A, while India has finished second. As such, England will now take on the West Indies in the Super League quarter-final at Rangiora while traditional rivals India and Pakistan will go head to head in the other quarter-final at Bert Sutcliffe Oval.
Both the quarterfinals will be played on Saturday.
England got off to a slow start after being put in to bat, thanks to a brilliant opening spell from Indian left-arm fast bowler Saurabh Netrawalkar who bowled 10 overs straight and finished with figures of 3-25.
England looked to be in serious trouble at 60-4 in the 19th over, but 18-year old middle-order batsman Ben Stokes (100) combined with Ateeq Javid (42) to breathe life back into the English innings. The two batsmen added 100 runs for the fifth wicket in 21 overs Stokes clobbered four fours and six sixes before being the sixth batsman out at the score of 222 in the 46th over. England finally finished at 246-8.
Apart from opening bowler Netrawalkar, none of the other India bowlers seriously troubled the England batsmen as the runs came thick and fast from the likes of Harshal Patel and Harmeet Singh who both conceded six an over from their eight-over spells.
In reply, India's batsmen occasionally got starts, but were unable to build any substantial individual innings or partnerships. Wickets fell with regularity and it was left to wicketkeeper Sufiyan Shaikh to take the total over 200. Shaikh scored 45 off 72 deliveries while Netrawalkar backed up his bowling effort with 28 at the end of the innings, as India were eventually bowled out for 215.
England's David Payne was the most successful bowler, taking 3-40 while batting hero Stokes chipped in with two wickets including the scalp of dangerous Mayank Agarwal, who was smartly caught by Jack Manuel.
With India and England advancing to the next stage, third-placed Afghanistan and fourth-placed Hong Kong will appear in the Plate Championship, which starts in Napier from Saturday. (ANI)