New Delhi: India defeated Australia by eight wickets to claim the ICC U19 World Cup for a record fourth time here on Saturday.
Electing to bat first, Australia were dismissed for 216 runs in 47.2 overs. Ishan Porel, Shiva Singh and Anukul Roy picked up two wickets each for India.
Opener Manoj Kalra then spearheaded the Indian run chase with an unbeaten century as the Boys in Blue romped to victory with 67 balls to spare.
Kalra remained unbeaten on 101 runs off 102 deliveries while Harvik Desai was not out on 47 at the other end.
Desai brought up the title win in style, smashing a boundary off Australian pacer Will Sutherland.
India thus became the first nation to win the ICC U19 World Cup four times. They had earlier won the title in 2000, 2008 and 2012.
Australia are second on the list with three titles.
This is the second time that India have defeated Australia in the final. They had earlier defeated the boys from Down Under in the final of the 2012 edition.
India’s Manjot Kalra celebrates reaching his half-century during the U19 cricket World Cup final match between India and Australia at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on February 3, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Marty MELVILLE
Earlier, India rode on a disciplined bowling effort to restrict Australia to a meagre 216 in the first inning.
Jonathan Merlo top-scored for the Australians with a steady 102-ball 76, laced with six boundaries even as the Indian bowlers complemented each other well to bundle out the opposition in 47.2 overs.
Electing to bat after winning the toss, the Australians lost their three top batsmen with just 59 runs on the board, thanks to pacer Ishan Porel’s twin strikes early on.
Porel’s victims included openers Max Bryant (14) and Jack Edwards (28), before Kamlesh Nagarkoti joined the party by removing skipper Jason Sangha for an unlucky 13 off 24 balls.
Thereafter, Merlo and Param Uppal (34) steadied the team with a 75-run fourth wicket stand which saw them going past the 100-run mark, before left-arm spinner Anukul Roy ended Uppal’s 58-ball stay with a brilliant catch in his own follow through.
Tottering at 134/4, Merlo was joined in by Nathan McSweeney (23), who added 49 runs for the fifth wicket before meeting the same fate as Uppal, this time caught and bowled by the other spinner Shiva Singh.
Despite losing his partners at the other end, Merlo continued to torment the Indians, raising his maiden half century off 60 balls by chopping a slower delivery from Porel for a single to sweeper cover.
Merlo, however succumbed under the pressure of scoring quick runs, when he attempted a reverse sweep off Roy only to manage a top-edge for Shiva to grab at sweeper cover, even as Australia’s hopes dashed after losing the last five wickets for just 33 runs.
For the Boys-in-Blue, Ishan Porel, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shiva Singh and Anukul Roy took two wickets each while Shivam Mavi grabbed one.
Brief scores: Australia 216 all out in 47.2 overs in 50 overs (Merlo 76; Roy 2/32, Singh 2/36). India 220/2 in 38.5 overs (Kalra 101 not out, Desai 47 not out).
Hindustan Surkhiyan News Desk: