Feature image: Twitter/ @cricketworldcup

Leg spinner Ravi Bishnoi stole the gloss off the Japanese U19 team’s World Cup debut, as his accurate stump to stump bowling proved too good for the debutant team’s middle-order batsmen. Bishnoi ended with figures of 4- 5, as Japan were skittled out for 41 runs, the third lowest score in U19 cricket.

After winning the toss on an overcast morning at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein, South Africa, India’s U19 captain Priyam Garg elected to bowl first. That decision paid dividends almost immediately as quick bowler Kartik Tyagi and Bishnoi ran riot in the first innings.

The latter in particular was remarkably good on the day, as he picked up wickets off his first two deliveries of the match, to leave the Japan team reeling at 14/4 after eight overs. The leg spinner followed that up with the wickets of Ishaan Fartyal and Ashley Thurgate, getting them off successive deliveries in his next over.

Bishnoi, who was picked by Kings XI Punjab in the VIVO Indian Premier League auction, had figures of 2-2-0-4 at one point of the game, with two of those wickets beating the opposition batsmen all ends up and finding the stumps. The spinner from Rajasthan continued to build pressure on the Japanese batsmen after making early inroads, conceding just five runs in his spell despite bowling eight overs. 

Apart from Bishnoi, pacer Tyagi also hit his mark in India’s second U19 World Cup game, as he picked up three wickets to further derail the Japanese batting momentum. Japan were ultimately bundled out for 41 runs.

With the four wickets today, Bishnoi is now India’s leading wicket-taker at the 2020 U19 World Cup with six scalps to his name. In the previous game against Sri Lanka, he accounted for the wickets of Ashian Daniel and Kavindu Nadeeshan. India’s next game in the U19 World Cup will be against New Zealand on January 24.