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ICC Under-19 World Cup: Manjot Kalra ton, bowlers give India record 4th title

Manjot Kalra blasted a century in the final and the bowlers delivered yet another fine performance as Prithvi Shaw’s Indian U-19 cricket team clinched a record fourth ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup title after beating Australia U-19 side.

cricket Updated: Feb 03, 2018 23:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup final,India vs Australia,India U-19 cricket team
Indian U-19 cricket team players, led by Prithvi Shaw, celebrate with the trophy after Manjot Kalra’s ton powered them to a eight-wicket win over Australia in the final of the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup on Saturday. (AFP)

Manjot Kalra’s brilliant century, after a superb performance from the bowlers, gave the Indian U-19 cricket team a thumping eight-wicket win over Australia in the final of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup at the Bay Oval on Saturday. The Indians, led by Prithvi Shaw, remained unbeaten through the tournament to lift a record fourth title. (IND v AUS highlights)

Having bowled out Australia out for 216, skipper Shaw and his partner Manjot Kalra got India off to a flying start. (IND v AUS scorecard)

After a brief 20-minute rain delay, Kalra and Shaw notched up a fifty-run opening stand in just the ninth over. Before the final, the pair had stitched opening stands of 180, 67, 155, 16 and 89.

However, Will Sutherland got the breakthrough for Australia, bowling Shaw right through the gate for 29. But Kalra batted with tremendous confidence.

The left-hander slog swept Lloyd Pope, the Australian leg-spinner who had picked up 8/35 against England in the quarterfinals, to deep mid wicket for a big six to signal his intent. The 19-year-old continued his good run against Australia, having scored 86 in the league stages at the same venue. Shubhman Gill started off with some glorious boundaries before he was bowled by Pawan Uppal after an aggressive 31 off 30 balls.

Kalra continued batting calmly and completed a magnificent century off 101 balls by nudging Will Sutherland to square leg. The Delhi lad was well supported by wicketkeeper Harvik Desai, who hit a solid 47 n.o. and sealed the title for India in the 39th over when he carved a full ball to the deep point boundary.

The dominant nature of the win should come as no surprise for Shaw’s side which has bowled and batted magnificently to stay unbeaten through the tournament.

Bowling domination

Earlier, Ishan Porel (2/30), Kamlesh Nagarkoti (2/41), Shiva Singh (2/36) and Anukul Roy (2/32) chipped in and did not allow Australia, who opted to bat first, to gain momentum in the final.

In overcast conditions, Australian skipper Jason Sangha won the toss and chose to bat. Jack Edwards and Max Bryant started confidently but Porel struck when he removed Bryant for 14 when the batsman hit a lofted drive straight to Abhishek Sharma at cover point. The tall right-arm pacer was once again in the thick of the action when he removed Edwards for 28 to jolt Australia.

Kamlesh Nagarkoti, who had impressed everyone in the tournament with his pace, struck with his third ball when he had skipper Sangha edge a pacy leg-cutter and Harvik Desai, the wicketkeeper, taking a fine catch to his right. At 59/3, India was on top but Australia soon staged a revival with Param Uppal and Jonathan Merlo stitching a 75-run stand for the fourth wicket.

Both batsmen tackled the Indian spinners well and employed the sweep effectively. However, Anukul Roy, the leading wicket-taker for India in this edition of the tournament, had Uppal caught and bowled for 34. But Nathan McSweeney, who smashed 156 against Papua New Guinea, looked in good touch. Merlo completed his maiden fifty and Australia looked good for a score in excess of 250.

However, Shiva Singh, another left-arm orthodox spinner, removed McSweeney and this exposed the lower middle-order. Anukul removed Merlo for 76 as the batsman top-edged a reverse sweep to be caught at sweeper cover. With that dismissal, Anukul became the joint-highest leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 14.

The rest of the Australian lower order collapsed in a heap, losing their last six wickets for 33 runs as India’s bowlers continued their great run in the tournament.

First Published: Feb 03, 2018 10:34 IST