CC U-19 World Cup: Ton-up Manjot Kalra, bowlers guide India to record 4th title – India Under-19 cricket team lifted their record fourth World Cup trophy as they triumphed over Australia with an eight-wicket victory in the final played at the Bay Oval ground in Mount Maunganui on Saturday.
Opening batsman Manjot Kalra grabbed the eyeballs with his unbeaten 101-run knock as the Men in Blue chased down the traget of 217 in just 38.5 overs.
It was an all-around performance from the Prithvi Shaw-led side as earlier the Indian spinners sent shivers through the Australian batsmen’s spines with their magical spell, followed by a magnificent show with the bat.
Opening batsmen Shaw and Kalra gave India a strong start before rain interrupted the play in the fourth over.
Australia got their first breakthrough when Shaw was dismissed by Will Sutherland on 29. Coming to bat at number three spot, swashbuckling batsman Shubman Gill, who had scored a ton in the semifinal against Pakistan, was cleaned up by Param Uppal on 31.
However, Kalra remained rooted on the crease, along with Harvik Desai, to guide India to the World Cup glory.
For Australia, all-rounder Jonathan Merlo became the highest scorer with his 76-run innings after the Indian blowers ripped through their top-order. Right-arm pacer Ishan Porel drew the first blood when he dismissed Max Bryant on 14. It was Porel again who gave India their second wicket in the form of Jack Edwards.
Anukul Roy, the leading wicket-taker for India, dismissed Merlo in the 45th over. Kamlesh Nagarkoti finished the tournament with nine wickets as he dismissed Australia skipper Jason Sangha on 13 and Zak Evans on one. Spinner Shiva Singh also claimed two wickets in the final showdown.
Manjot Kalra was adjudged as ‘Man of the Match’ while Shubman Gill was awarded ‘Player of the Tournament’. It is to be noted that India have remained unbeaten in the Under-19 World Cup tournament.