India lifted the U-19 Cricket World Cup trophy on Saturday for a record fourth time, comfortably beating Australia by wight wickets in the final at Mount Maunganui, New Zealand.
India chased down Australia’s 216 with more than 11 overs to spare, with opener Manjot Kalra’s leading the battle with an unbeaten 101. His ton included eight fours and three sixes.
Kalra was supported by wicket-keeper Harvik Desai, who was 47 not out when he finished the match with a boundary. Captain Prithvi Shaw scored 29 at the top of the innings and Shubman Gill added 31.
“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.
Australia’s innings, all over in the 48th over, was held together by Jonathan Merlo’s 76 after it fell apart despite a promising start.
Ishan Porel finished with two for 30 while left-arm spinner Shiva Singh was instrumental in slowing the Australian run rate with two for 36.
First World Cup for Dravid
The final also determined the team with most number of U-19 World Cup titles, as both India and Australia entered the tournament with three titles each.
The win also meant a first time World Cup trophy for batting legend Rahul Dravid, now India coach. Earlier, India U-19 team reached finals in 2016 under him, but defeated by West Indies.
India last lifted the trophy six years ago in Australia beating the hosts. The team that won the title in 2008 was led by the present India senior team captain Virat Kohli. The first triumph for India in the tournament was in 2000.
With inputs from agencies.