Sharjah: India wrote another golden chapter in their cricket history on Sunday, when their youth team lifted the International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 World Cup after beating Australia by six wickets in the final at the Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville, Queensland.
The Under-19 team made their nation proud by emulating their senior team, who lifted the World Cup last year. The hero of India’s victory was skipper Unmukt Chand, who cracked an unbeaten 111 — well supported by Baba Aparajith (33) and Smit Patel (62no) — to secure their third under-19 world title, after previously emerging as champions in 2000 and 2008.
Immediately after the news reached India, N. Srinivasan, the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), said: “Many congratulations to the Indian team for the winning the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup. We won the ‘senior’ World Cup last year, and now our boys have triumphed in the junior version of the tournament.
“This is a great day for Indian cricket. The Board would like to announce a cash prize of Rs. 20 lakhs [Dh132,000] to each player, and Rs. 15 lakhs to each member of the support staff.”
Chand and Patel put on an unbroken 130-run stand for the fifth wicket. They pulled India out of trouble after their team had slipped from a strong 75 for 1 to a worrying 97 for 4 chasing a target of 226.
Patel hit the winning run to the midwicket boundary in the 48th over to secure a memorable victory. Chand became only the third batsman in the history of the tournament to hit a century in the final. The other two captains to lift the Under-19 title for India are Mohammad Kaif in 2000 in Sri Lanka and Virat Kohli in 2008 in Malaysia.
Earlier, India won the toss and elected to field. Sandeep Sharma struck to clean bowl opener Jimmy Pierson for a duck and he also trapped opener Cameron Brancroft leg before for two.
Meyric Buchanan and Kurtis Patterson put on 30 for the third wicket before Aparajit bowled Patterson for 16 and Australia slipped to 38 for four when Ravikant Singh had Buchanan caught behind for 12.
Captain Will Bosisto cracked a brilliant 87 with excellent support from Travis Head (37) and Ashton Turner (43) to steer Australia to 225 for eight. Sandeep Sharma returned with figures of four for 54.
After the match Bosisto said: “It is really disappointing. Maybe we didn’t help ourselves out with a few dropped catches and things like that, but that is cricket.
“It would have been nice to finish on a winning note, obviously, but India are a great side, I think they played better than us on the day and deserved to win. Getting an early wicket, we thought that put us right in the contest, but Unmukt’s innings was just a freak innings and sometimes you are going to get that in cricket against such talented opposition.”