Musheer Khan gave ample display of his immense talent with a superb hundred as India steam-rolled minnows Ireland by a whopping 201 runs to virtually qualify for the Super Six round of the ICC U-19 World Cup on Thursday. Courtesy Musheer’s blitzkrieg — 118 off 106 balls, India posted an imposing 301 for 7 against Ireland, which in any case, would have been an uphill challenge to surpass.

The day belonged to 18-year-old Mumbai boy Musheer. On the same day when his elder brother Sarfaraz scored 161 in an unofficial Test versus England Lions in Ahmedabad, thousands of kilometres away in Bloemfontein, Musheer paced his innings brilliantly hitting nine fours and four sixes in the process. (WATCH: Virat Kohli Fan Touches Rohit Sharma’s Feet During India vs England 1st Test)

In the end, Sachin Dhas, perhaps the most exciting talent in the U-19 set-up, smashed 21 off 9 balls to take India past the 300-run mark, which is the highest score in a U-19 international at this ground. India scored 119 runs in the last 10 overs. However, the Indian innings were about Musheer’s brilliant game awareness as he took his time before unleashing a brutal assault on the Irish bowlers.

He took only 34 balls to race to 100 from 50, having scored the first 50 runs off 66 balls. Along with skipper Uday Saharan (75 off 84 balls), Musheer added 156 as the young Indian batters gave a good account of themselves, albeit against a weaker bowling attack.

“We both have the same style of play. I am very happy but not satisfied as I need to play much better in the coming games. In the last match, I was in a bit of a rush but today I was patient and waited for the loose deliveries. The six I hit over mid-wicket off the fast bowler was special. All thanks to Almighty Allah,” Musheer said after the match.

Very strong on the on-side, all his maximums came in the region between square leg, deep mid-wicket, and long-on. He treated the opposition’s best pacer Oliver Riley (3/55) with disdain, hitting him for two sixes. Saharan, who played the second fiddle to Adarsh Singh in the opening game, was once again brilliant as an anchor, rotating the strike well and letting Musheer play his natural attacking game.

Musheer Khan, the younger sibling of Mumbai’s cricket star Sarfaraz Khan, has made a mark in the cricketing world despite a significant age gap of over seven years. Known for his skills as a formidable right-handed top-order batsman and a left-arm orthodox bowler, Musheer Khan made his first-class debut for Mumbai in the previous Ranji Trophy season. In three matches, he showcased his potential by accumulating 96 runs and securing two wickets.

His cricketing prowess extends beyond domestic competitions, as evidenced by his outstanding performance in the U-19 Vinoo Mankad Trophy. Musheer Khan amassed 438 runs and emerged as the leading wicket-taker with 22 wickets. His impressive performances caught the attention of selectors, leading to his inclusion in the India A team for a four-nation ODI series. Musheer played a pivotal role in securing the title with a remarkable 47-ball 127 and a bowling effort of 2/53.

Coming back to the match, in the end, Ireland managed a paltry 100 in 29.4 overs with medium pacer Naman Tiwari (4/53 in 10 overs) and left-arm spinner Saumy Kumar Pandey (3/21 in 9 overs) doing the bulk of the damage. Seven Irish batters failed to reach double figures. The Indian team was just too good for the Irish and the gulf in standard was evident across all departments. India has now won both their group league games and the game against USA, which is ‘mini-India’ with 11 expats of Indian descent, is expected to be another walk in the park.

Brief Scores: India U-19 301/7 (Musheer Khan 118, Uday Saharan 75, Oliver Riley 3/55).Ireland 100 in 29.4 overs (Naman Tiwari 4/53, Saumy Kumar Pandey 3/21).

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