Kalra hits a splendid century and India wins the Under-19 World Cup

By Kersi Meher-Homji

India’s future in cricket is bright. Their Under-19 cricket team thrashed Australia’s Under-19s by 8 wickets with 67 balls remaining in the  Final  of ICC U-19 World Cup at Mount Maunganui, New Zealand yesterday [Saturday].

Winning the toss, Australia was going well at 4 for 183, Jonathan Merlo (76 runs) and Chandigarh-born Param Uppal (34) batting well. But they lost their last six wickets for only 33 runs to be all out for 216.

India’s quickies Ishan Porel and Kamlesh Nagarkoti and spinners Shiva Singh and Anukul Roy took two wickets each.

India’s captain Prithvi Shaw gave India a promising start. Then Man of the Match Manjot Kalra (101 not out) and Harvik Desai (47 not out) batted brilliantly, adding 89 runs for the unbroken third wicket and India won easily and lifted the World Cup.

India’s Shubman Gill was adjudged Man of the Series.

To quote Shashank Kishore from  CricInfo, “India sauntered to a record fourth Under-19 World Cup title in front of a partisan crowd of 4000 odd at Bay Oval [in New Zealand], to finish an unbeaten campaign that had begun against Australia at the same venue three weeks ago. The margin of victory then was 100 runs, and it was comprehensive in the grand final as well, by eight wickets.

“To win the tournament, India pulled off their second highest successful chase in U-19 World Cups, after the 226 to beat Australia in Townsville in 2012. Unmukt Chand had led that chase with a sublime century, and on Saturday another Delhi boy, Manjot Kalra, reprised the feat. In the tournament opener against Australia, Kalra had missed his century by 14 runs in an effort to hit out; he was unbeaten on 101 off 102 balls in the Final.”

India’s captain Prithvi Shaw and his victorious team were ecstatic as they held the World Cup. “We have spent two years preparing for it” he said. “There will be emotions when we say goodbye. Even if we don’t go on to be a part of a senior World Cup team, we will have this to remember.”

Well done boys!

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