MOUNT MAUNGANUI ( Muslim Times) – India have on Saturday beaten Australia by eight wickets to win the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui for fourth time.
Australia set a 217-run target for India after winning the toss and electing to bat first as the Kangaroos were all out for 216 runs in 47.2 overs and could not even complete the 50-over quota.
Jonathan Merlo top-scored with 76 for Australia followed by Uppal (34) and Edwards (28). From India, Porel, Shiva Singh, Nagarkoti and Roy claimed two wickets apiece.
Manjot Kalra led the chase for India in reply and scored a brilliant unbeaten ton (101 off 102, 8×4, 3×6). Harvik Desai (47* off 61, 5×4) was the second highest run-scorer for India.
India chased down the target in 38.5 overs having lost only two wickets. Australia’s Sutherland and Uppal dismissed one batsman each.
This was the fifth time when Australia had made the final of the tournament. India played the final for the sixth time, including the last edition in 2014, when they lost to the Windies.
Australia and India had previously won the title three times each with a fairly even record in ICC U19 Cricket World Cups when it came to head-to-head encounters but India have had the edge in recent years as well as in this tournament, and the men in blue have ended up lifting the trophy for fourth time.
“I really can’t express what I’m feeling now,” said captain Shaw.
“It was the final, a very crucial hundred from Manjot. Gill was batting really well. And the two pacers, Mavi and Kamlesh, (have) been excellent throughout the tournament.”
Man of the match Kalra, not surprisingly, felt the wicket was ideal for batting.
“I enjoyed it a lot. The conditions were good. Not a difficult wicket, it was flat and good to bat on,” he said.