Manjot Kalra‘s magnificent century leads India to a comfortable 8-wicket victory over Australia in the ICC Under-19 World Cup final at Mount Maunganui. India now have the most number of U-19 World Cups, with 4 titles. Last time India won the title was in 2012 under Unmukt Chand’s captaincy. In this edition however, it is Prithvi Shaw who has led from the front to hand India the title. Australia managed to put just 216 runs on the board, which was never going to be enough against this Indian team, who have brushed away all the teams with utmost ease.
Other than Kalra, Shaw (29), Shubman Gill (31) and Harvik Desai (47*) made useful contributions to help India win. Among the Australian bowlers only Will Sutherland and Param Uppal got a wicket apiece. Australia as a team did not bowl particularly well and their ground fielding too was not up to the mark. Even while batting, Australia at no point looked to be at ease especially when the spinners were on.
However, Jonathan Merlo (76) and Uppal (34) played well and as a result Australia managed to put up a respectable total. But due to their collapse in the end, Australia fell about 30-40 runs short, which has clearly hurt them in this match.
Both teams however have found new superstars, who could make it big in the future. The likes of Kalra, Shubman Gill, Abhishek Sharma, Shaw and others have played brilliantly throughout the tournament and it will not be too long before they knock on the doors for a place in the senior team.
As far as Australia are concerned, their skipper Jason Sangha and also leg-spinner Lloyd Pope showed glimpses of what they are really capable of. In the final, it was Australia, who won the toss and elected to bat first. Both teams went into the match unchanged from their previous match.
India’s Anukul Roy finishes the tournament as the joint-highest wicket-taker with 14 scalps, while Gill with 372 runs finished as the highest run-scorer for India.
Australia 216 in 47.2 overs (Jonathan Merlo 76, Param Uppal 34; Ishan Porel 2-30, Anukul Roy 2-32) lost to India 220-2 in 38.5 overs (Manjot Kalra 101*, Harvik Desai 47*; Will Sutherland 1-36, Param Uppal 1-38) by 8 wickets.
Player of the match: Manjot Kalra
Player of the series: Shubnam Gill