Hooda steers Indian colts home

Deepak Hooda produced a fine all-round performance to help the Indian under-19 cricket team register a comprehensive 148-run win over Zimbabwe in the opening match of the Quadrangular Under-19 one-day series here on Monday.

Hooda sizzled with the bat, smashing an unbeaten 83 and then grabbed two for 37 with his tight medium pacers to set up the easy win.

Earlier, opting to bat, the Indian colts rode on Hooda’s quickfire knock and 15-year-old Sarfaraz Khan’s run-a-ball 55 to post 291 for six in their 50 overs.
Promoted up the order at No 6, Hooda used his long handle to great effect as he clobbered the Zimbabwean bowlers during his 55-ball knock,  hitting five fours and an equal number of sixes in the process.

Hooda did not spare a single Zimbabwe bowler during his merciless innings and stitched two quick partnerships with Ricky Bhui (19) and Sarfaraz to take India forward.

Hooda first shared 77 runs for the fifth wicket with Bhui in 12.2 overs and then blasted 72 runs off 35 balls along with Sarfaraz to take the hosts close to the 300-run mark.

Apart from Hooda and Sarfaraz, wicket-keeper Ankush Bains contributed a useful 49 off 62 balls at the top while Shreyas Iyer (28) and skipper Vijay Zol (17) couldn’t convert starts.

Kieran Geyle (3/32) was the star performer for Zimbabwe.
Brief scores: India Under-19: 291/6 in 50 overs (Deepak Hooda 83 n.o., Sarfaraz Khan 55; Kieran Geyle 3-32) bt Zimbabwe Under-19: 143 all out in 41.2 overs (Ryan Burl 46; Kuldeep Yadav 4-34).

South Africa Under-19: 179 all out in 44 overs (Bradley Dial 48, A Phehlukwayo 39; Matthew Fotia 3-23) bt Australia Under-19: 162 all out in 44.2 overs (Jake Doran 35; Yaseen Valli 3-27, Dial 3-32).

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