India cruise to fourth ICC U-19 World Cup thanks to Manjot Kalra’s century and an Aussie collapse
"Really proud of the boys and the effort they put in, says Rahul Dravid, as the colts enthusiastically jump behing him. "Proud of the effort they put in and couldn't be happier for them. Hopefully, it's a memory they cherish for a long, long time, but hopefully not the lasting memory and they have many more great moments and bigger things in future. I don't want to mention names but everyone in the support staff has put in a great effort. We do the best for the kids."
With this trophy, India is the only country in the world to have won four – 2000, 2008, 2012 and 2018 – U-19 Cricket World Cups! Back in 2016, in Dhaka, India crumbled to 145 all-out and lost to the West Indies. In 2006 also, India finished runners-up. India’s batting couldn’t hold as they folded for just 71 in a chase of 110 in Colombo.
Delhi boy Manjeet Kalra scored an unbeaten and match-winning 101 runs off 102 balls but it was the Indian bowlers – Ishan Porel, Shiva Singh, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Anukul Roy and Shivam Mavi – who brilliantly restricted the Aussies. At one stage, with eleven over to go, the Aussies were cruising at 183/4 before Shiva Singh took the wicket off NA McSweeney, in what was the start of a spectacular collapse.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, the Aussies folded for 216 all-out, an under-par score at the Bay Oval and just couldn’t get any momentum going with the ball. It looked as though the tide was changing when rain interrupted the game for about twenty minutes and then Shubman Gill, India’s lead batsmen throughout the tournament, got out for just 31 runs, but Kalra steadied the ship and kept the run-rate ticking with help from wicket-keeper batsman Harvik Desai.
Gill was the tournament’s lead run-scorer and the final was the only match in which he failed to cross the half-century mark. Kalra did become only the second Indian batsman after Unmukt Chand, another Delhi boy, to score a century in a final of a U-19 World Cup. Rahul Dravid’s colts remained unbeaten during the entire tournament.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced cash awards for everyone involved. Coach Dravid will be getting Rs 50 lakh, each of the players will get Rs 30 lakh and each member of the support staff will get Rs 20 lakh.
Manjot Kalra was declared man of the match while Shubman Gill is the player of the tournament.