Riding on the brilliance of Shubman Gill’s unbeaten century, India Under-19 took a 2-1 lead at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Friday as they beat England Under-19 by seven wickets in the third One Dayer of the five match-series.
Electing to bat first after winning the toss, England were bundled for 215 as spinners Rahul Chahar (4/33) and Anukul Roy (3/39) shared seven wickets between them. The visitors lost both their openers — Max Holden (8) and Harry Brook (12) — early on as the scoreboard read 38 for two.
It was then that Delray Rawlins (96), who had struck a century in the first One Dayer as well, and George Bartlett (55) bailed the team out of trouble as they stitched a much-needed 84-run partnership for the third wicket. Bartlett picked up six boundaries and a six in his 67-ball stay before getting stumped off Chahar’s delivery in the 24th over.
Rawlins, however, was on song at the other end. His innings, laced with sweeps, reverse-sweeps, cover-drives and shots coming down the track, was exquisite to say the least. He hit 11 boundaries and two gigantic sixes before he went for the reverse-sweep once again and was caught at short third-man by Ayush Jamwal. It was the third wicket for Anukul Roy who had earlier cleaned up Ollie Pope (14) and had Will Jacks (0) caught at silly mid-on in the 37th over to halt England’s dreams of piling up a huge total.
Thereafter, the visitors lost wickets at regular intervals and could only add 17 runs after Rawlins departed. The Indians put up a good show on the field as well, saving at least 15-20 on the ropes while having Liam Patterson White run-out.
Coming on to bat, India got off to a flying start as Shubman Gill slammed three boundaries in the very first over. He followed it up with five more in as many overs and hit a towering six as India raced to 57 for no loss. However, after captain Himanshu Rana (19) fell in the eighth over, there was a drastic dip in the run rate. Off the next 20 overs, India could manage to score just 58 runs. Rawlins got rid of Priyam Garg (8), trapping him in front of the wicket, while Liam Patterson White sent pack Salman Khan (11) in a similar fashion.
Shubman, the only player to have played all three games of the series so far, took the England bowlers by storm as he hammered them to all corners of the park. It was a classy knock by the 17-year-old who timed almost all his shots to perfection. His deft touches while playing the late cuts down to third man were brilliantly executed. Once the run rate fell, he didn’t try to do anything fancy. He built a 115-run partnership with Harvik Desai (37*) for the fourth wicket while getting to his maiden century of the series in just 121 balls. He was well supported by Desai, who hit just one boundary and a six in his entire knock, but kept rotating the strike well throughout.
As coach Rahul Dravid had promised, there were six changes made to the team that beat England U19 in the last One Dayer — Heramb Parab and Ayush Jamwal were handed their first games of the series while Salman Khan, Yash Thakur, Rahul Chahar and Mayank Rawat were brought back in the side after the first match.