Skipper Unmukt Chand led from the front with an unbeaten 111 as India Under-19 lifted their third World Cup title after beating defending champions Australia by six wickets in the final on Sunday. This was India U-19 s first triumph after Mohammed Kaif and Virat Kohli led their respective teams to victory in 2000 and 2008 editions respectively.
Earlier Australia, the defending champions, recovered from 38 for four, courtesy to skipper William Bosisito’s unbeaten 87, and post 225 for eight but Unmukt topped that effort by combining with Baba Aparajith in a 73-run stand for the second wicket and was then involved in a match-winning 130-run stand for the fifth wicket with Smit Patel, who finished on 62 not out, to help India win with 14 balls to spare. India were 97 for 4 when Chand and Patel got together.
Medium pacer Sandeep Sharma was the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 54 after India elected to field.
It was the second time in four months that the Indian Under-19 team had beaten their Australian counterparts. In the final of the quadrangular tournament in April, also in Townsville, Chand had made an unbeaten 112 to lead India to a seven-wicket victory.
Australia skipper Bosisito praised both Unmukt and his team. “It is not the first time that Unmukt has terrorised us. The Indians did great work,” said Australia skipper Bosisito.
India Under-19 coach Bharat Arun said: “I had reminded Unmukt about his knack of playing big knocks in the final stages and he really saved his best for the last. He played a very mature innings. The boys truly deserve this win.”
On the other hand Unmukt said “Australia were the defending champions and they have been unbeaten in the tournament. Beating Australia in Australia is a challenge that I have always enjoyed. I had a very mediocre tournament by my standards and I frittered away a few starts so I wanted to make up for all of that. I have this knack of playing big knocks in finals and I am glad that I did it again.”
Both teams named the same XIs that had got them through the knockouts. While Australia, aiming for a fourth title, entered the final undefeated, India had lost one game in the first group stage to the West Indies.
The BCCI on Sunday announced a cash prize of Rs 20 lakhs each for members of the Indian team which lifted its third Under-19 World Cup title in Townsville after defeating defending champions Australia. BCCI president Srinivasan said in a statement “This is a great day for Indian cricket. The Board would like to announce a cash prize of Rs 20 lakhs to each player, and Rs 15 lakhs to each member of the support staff.”