Under-19 WC Final: Australia set 217 as target for India

Under-19 WC Final: Australia set 217 as target for India

Australia and India play in the final of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup at the Bay Oval in Tauranga on Saturday knowing that victory in the day-night encounter will make their side the most successful ones in the history of the tournament.

It's not saying much, but India were pushed closer in this game than they had been throughout the tournament. An unbeaten 101 from Manjot Kalra highlighted the Indian innings, his knock coming from 102 balls.

In response India got off to a flyer - and never looked like losing. But after 4 overs play was stopped due to rain. Gill brought up India's 100 in 15.5 overs with a glorious drive past mid-off.

After the bowlers shined and sent Australia packing for a paltry 217 in the 50-over game, the boys in blue needed a similar sort of inspiration from the batting department. After a sedate a start, he broke the shackles with a six off a "free-hit" delivery bowled by Zak Evans and then there was no stopping him.

Makwetu had 11 victims during the tournament besides some useful runs, while fast bowler Coetzee finished with eight wickets.

The Australian bowlers were made to sweat. But they will have their work cut out against a strong Australian batting line-up.

Shaw, having scored a total of 261 runs in the tournament, became the top-scoring Indian captain in the U-19 World Cup. Kalra was announced as the Man of the Match too, for his match-winning performance. "They really deserved this".

The cricketing great however, did not forget to pay tribute to his support staff and said,"It is (a massive lift for me and the coaching staff)".

Earlier, in overcast conditions, Australia showed no hesitation in opting to bat first.

They had a mixed start to their innings, with openers Jack Edwards and Max Bryant being caught off the bowling of Ishan Porel for 28 and 14 runs respectively.

Manjot, who was dropped on 99, was attacking from the word go.

At 59/3, India were on top.

Australia are second on the list with three titles. With five down, Merlo remained the key for Australia but Shaw rotated his bowlers so well that the boundaries dried up and Australia banked heavily on rotating strikes.

India's last title win in the ICC Under 19 World Cup had come six years ago in 2012 under the leadership of Unmukt Chand when the team had beaten Australia in the final.



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