India claimed their fourth World Cup title    Getty Images
India claimed their fourth World Cup title Getty Images

Manjot Kalra‘s classy century, Harvik Desai‘s cameo, and collective bowling performance guided India to their fourth ICC U-19 World Cup title at Mount Maunganui. Kalra became the second Indian, after Unmukt Chand, to score a hundred in U-19 World Cup final. Kalra and captain Prithvi Shaw added 71 runs for the opening stand and set the tone. There, however, was a minor setback for India. Shaw and Shubman Gill departed after steady starts. But, that was the only respite Australia had. Kalra added an unbeaten partnership of 89 runs with Desai and chased down 217 in 38.5 overs. For Australia, Will Sutherland and Param Uppal shared wickets apiece.

There was a slight drizzle during India’s innings, but that did not affect their concentration. When the rain halted play in the fourth over, India were 23 for no loss. Upon return, Shaw and Kalra added 50 runs by the 8th over.

Sutherland, however, handed a much-needed breakthrough, bowling a peach of delivery to remove Shaw for 29. Gill, who has been consistent thus far, played second fiddle to Kalra. They did not spare Lloyd Pope, who went for 13 runs in his first over. Barring Sutherland, no Australian bowler was impactful. Merlo, who had taken wickets in their series opener against India, could not make inroads. Absolutely nothing went Australia’s way. Kalra continued his dominance and smashed his second fifty against Australia in the tournament. Sangha then introduced spinners again, and Uppal’s introduction proved fruitful as he broke a steady partnership of 60 runs between Gill and Kalra.

Australia snatched the momentum from India for a brief period. However, no one could stop Kalra. He reached his hundred in the very over Desai hit the winning runs.

Earlier, Jonathan Merlo s fighting knock of 76 kept Australia in the hunt. However, Shiva Singh, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Ishan Porel and Anukul Roy stole the momentum, takings 2 wickets each. In the process, Roy also became the joint-highest wicket-taker in the tournament along with Qais Ahmad and Faisal Jalkhandi, holding 14 wickets.

When openers Max Bryant and Jack Edwards were setting a platform, the former found Abhishek Sharma at cover in the sixth over. Edwards soon joined his partner in the pavilion. Nagarkoti dented Australia s progression further as Jason Sangha edged to Desai. Australia were in a desperate need of a partnership to revive their innings. Merlo and Uppal provided just that with a 75-run stand.

Nathan McSweeney went all out as soon as he arrived. He built a 49-run stand for the sixth wicket with Merlo to hold the momentum. However, Singh got the better of him. Merlo was the next to be sent to the hut for 76, handing Roy his second wicket. Nagarkoti, who was clocking between 138-40 kmph, got rid of Zak Evans. Singh then got hold of Baxter Holt. Shivam Mavi followed it up by dismissing Ryan Hadley, who nicked one to the wicketkeeper to bring an end to the innings in 48th over.

Brief scores:

Australia 216 all out in 47.2 overs (Jonathan Merlo 76, Pram Uppal 34; Ishan Porel 2 for 30, 2 for 36) lose to India 220 for 2 (Manjot Kalra 101*, Harvik Desai 47*; Will Sutherland 1 for 32) by 8 wickets.

Man of the Match: Manjot Kalra

Man of the Series: Shubman Gill

Full Updates: India vs Australia, ICC U-19 World Cup 2018