Sharjah: Sanju Samson and Kuldeep Yadav stole the limelight with individual brilliance as a strong India continued their unbeaten run with a crushing 245-run win over minnows Papua New Guinea in the Under-19 World Cup at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
Opting to bat in their last league match, the defending champions posted a mammoth 301 for six, before bowling out their hapless opponents for just 56 in 28.2 overs at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Left-arm chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav, who is registered with Mumbai Indians, claimed four wickets while Monu Kumar claimed three and Deepak Hooda pitched in with two wickets as India completed a one-sided win.
The convincing win ensured India topped the group.
Sarfaraz Khan slammed 34 off 18 balls against PNG. File Pic
Earlier, after skipper Vijay Zol opted to bat first, Ankush Bains and Akhil Herwadkar opening partnership was ended by Sakavai Gebai for 58. Zol then joined Bains in taking the team to 132 before being castled by Alei Nao. Seven runs later Bains top-edged Nao to depart for 59.
But with the stage already set, Sanju Samson, who had replaced Zol, accelerated the run rate with a 48-ball 85, smashing eight fours and four sixes during his stay at the crease.
Samson, who was retained by Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL), commenced his onslaught by smashing Gebai for a six and a four. In the bowler's next over, he collected 23 runs striking Gebai for four consecutive boundaries followed by a six and a single to end the over. Samson reached his fifty by hitting Joseph for a six over mid-wicket.
However, in the two overs before returning to the pavilion he was let off a couple of times at deep midwicket as he went for the big hits. With Shreyas Iyer at the other end, Samson added 116 runs for the fourth wicket until Nao ended the partnership.
Caught at long off by Gebai, Iyer departed for 36 runs. In the next over, with little over three overs left in the innings, Samson was caught at short fine leg off Morea. Sarfaraz Khan, who came out to the middle at the fall of Iyer's wicket, continued the fireworks. Remaining unbeaten, he slammed 34 off 18 balls while Aamir Gani was not out on two at the other end.
Sarfaraz lofted the last ball of the innings over long on to take the team past 300.
Defending a big total on what did not seem like the best of batting surfaces, India struck in the second over itself, Monu Kumar dealing a double blow by rattling Kiplin Doriga and Raho Sam's woodwork.
With PNG on three for two, the pacer was on a hat-trick but bowled a wide. Eleven overs later, Yadav trapped Riley Hekure leg-before for 20 while Gani followed up with the wicket of Dogodo Bau in the next.
With the top four back in the dressing room for 33, Allan Joseph joined Hiri Hiri in the middle but was castled by Monu Kumar ending the 19-run partnership. The wicket triggered another collapse. In the next over, Hiri edged Hooda to Sarfaraz while Tom Willie was out lbw two balls later.
Micah Pokana was sent back by Yadav in the following over while Morea perished taking the aerial route against the spinner's in his next. Yadav then wrapped-up the PNG innings in his next over by dismantling Nao's stumps. PNG lost their last six wickets for four runs.
India's victory margin was the seventh-biggest in the history of Youth ODIs.