ICC U19 CWC: Final – Aus vs Ind
Townsville, Aug 26: With a glorious unbeaten century, skipper Unmukt Chand led India to a six-wicket win over defending champions Australia to lift the ICC Under-19 World Cup. In a chase of 226, Chand, who opened the innings for India, struck 111 (7x4, 6x6) off 130 balls. His 130-run unbroken partnership with Smit Patel (62*) took India over the finish line at the Tony Ireland Stadium.
After India lost opener Prashant Chopra for a duck, Unmukt Chand and Baba Aparajith added 73 runs for the second wicket to take the score to 75 for two in the 15th over. Scoring at a quick pace, the duo had forced Australian captain, William Bosisto, to push back his fielders to stem the flow of runs. Meanwhile, Chand, who had so far made only one solid score of 78 in the league phase of the tournament, was in good form today. However, Baba Aparajith, who had played match-winning knocks in the quarter and semi-finals was sent back for 33 (38 balls), courtesy a brilliant catch at extra-cover by Ashton Turner off Gurinder Sandhu. Later, Turner took a return catch to dismiss Hanuma Vihari (4).
With two quick wickets, and the new man Vijay Zol finding it difficult to score, pressure started to build on India. Zol’s (1) laborious 14-ball stay at the crease ended with the southpaw edging Joel Paris to wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson. Smit Patel then joined Chand in the middle to help repair the Indian innings.
With runs hard to come by, the asking rate kept creeping up. The duo, however, worked diligently to keep India in the game. Thanks to Chand’s timely big hits and boundaries, the target was never out of reach. The Indian captain brought up his century with a glorious six off Alex Gregory over cover. On the next ball, Patel brought up his half-century with a single off Mark Steketee and gave the strike back to his skipper. Chand then hit the bowler over long-on for a massive six, after which Patel struck him towards the fine-leg fence. Upon scoring 29 runs off 12 deliveries, India were within sniffing distance of lifting the coveted Cup, and they eventually reached their target with 14 balls to spare.
Earlier, after Chand asked the home team to bat first, Sandeep Sharma struck a double blow to leave Australia reeling at two for eight in the third over. Opening the bowling for India, the pacer dislodged Jimmy Peirson’s bails with an inswinging delivery; and in his next over, he trapped Cameron Bancroft leg-before wicket.
30 runs later, Baba Aparajith bowled Kurtis Patterson, while Ravi Kant Singh followed up with the wicket of Meyrick Buchanan in the next over. It was once again left to captain William Bosisto to drop anchor and hold the Australian innings together. Building partnerships with Travis Head and Turner, Bosisto pulled his team out of dire straits.
At four down for 38, Travis Head joined Bosisto in the middle. The duo kept the scoreboard ticking with singles and twos as they went about the task of rebuilding the Australian innings. Their 65-run partnership ended when Head (37) was run out thanks to some quick work by the Indian fielders. Ashton Turner, who then came in to bat, was involved in a 93-run stand with Bosisto, before returning to the dressing room for 43. The Australian colts lost three wickets in the last five overs while attempting to accelerate the run-rate. Turner, who had hit Sharma for a six off the previous delivery, perished while taking the aerial route on the last ball of the 46th over. In his next over, Sharma sent back Alex Gregory (4) to claim his fourth wicket. In the following over, Joel Paris was run out without troubling the scorers.
With 11 balls remaining, Sandhu (10*) came to the crease and was involved in an unbroken 19-run stand with Bosisto (87*). Australia managed 225 for eight in their 50 overs.
Brief scores: Australia 225/8 in 50 overs (W Bosisto 87, A Turner 43, S Sharma 4/54) India 227/4 in 47.4 overs (U Chand 111*, S Patel 62*, B Aparajith 33) by 6 wickets
Man-of-the-Match: Unmukt Chand for his match-winning 111 off 138 balls
Player of the Tournament: Australian skipper, William Bosisto