India and captain Unmukt Chand rose to the occasion of world cup final.
India and Unmukt Chand done it again. This time its even bigger than what they achieved at last two finals in quadrangular series and Asia cup earlier this year. India U19 crowned as world champions at Townsville in Australia after they defeated the host and defending champions Australia U19 in an emphatic final.
After winning the toss and deciding to field first in the world cup final, India immediately put Australia under the match. Australia U19 lost 4 wickets for just 38 runs. Sandeep Sharma cleaned up Peirson stumps in first over and followed it up by trapping Bancroft with an in-swinger in his next over. Then Aparajith in his first over foxed Patterson, whose attempt to sweep the fuller ball only ended in knocking his stumps. And soon after Buchanan nicked one off Ravikant Singh to keeper Smit Patel. India had chance to tighten the screws even more in Ravikant’s next over but Nath dropped a sitter at point and gave Travis Head another chance to bat. Head capitalized on it and made a crucial contribution of 37 runs in rescuing Australia U19 from nightmares along Bosisto with 65 runs 5th wicket partnership. But a poor judgment of run and good piece of fielding from Harmeet Singh ended Head regain at crease. Turner then joined hands with Bosisto and contributed 43 runs in their 93 runs partnership.
From 38/4, Australia made great recovery to post a good target of 225/8 at the end of 50 overs. Bosisto who yet again remained not out with his gritty innings, top scored with 81 runs. Sandeep Sharma, the real leader of India U19 bowling attack took four wickets.
Unlike in most of previous pitches, this one didn’t had that much for bowlers. India despite losing Chopra for duck, were off to a flier, thanks to flashy captain Chand and impressive Aparajith. India were scoring at ease until the dismissal of Aparajith, who was caught brilliantly by Turner in one hand at short cover for 33 runs. Then Vihari for 4 runs and Vijay Zol for 1 run, went back to pavilion with Chand firing boundaries at other end. At 97/4, India had all their hopes of world cup pinned to captain Chand and last recognized batsmen Smit Patel. After initially hiccup, this pair took India home and sealed the world cup for India with a boundary over midwicket.
Unmukt Chand unbeaten innings of 111 included 6 sweet sixes. Smit Patel also to his contribution, scored an unbeaten 64 runs in the match winning 130 runs 5th wicket partnership. Australia had themselves to blame for letting the world cup go out of them. They dropped Chand twice (on 38 & 84 runs) and Patel once (on 2 runs). But India U19 to their part rose to the occasion today, especially Unmukt Chand. He seems to be making this as habit, scoring match winning centuries in finals (112* vs Australia in the quadrangular series final, 121 vs Pakistan in Asia cup final and now 111* in world cup final).
It was captain’s show in the awards ceremony with Unmukt Chand getting the player of the match for his scintillating century and William Bosisto, rightly named as the player of the tournament. This is India’s third U19 world cup title, only Australia as won as many. Although success at U19 level no means guaranteed good future for their respective nations, India and Australia found quite a few talents to nurture.
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