Ton-up Kalra powers India to fourth U-19 World Cup title

Manjot Kalra slammed an unbeaten hundred as India thrashed Australia by eight wickets to lift the ICC U-19 World Cup for a record fourth time.

Manjot Kalra scored an unbeaten century to help India beat Australia in the final.   -  AFP

Manjot Kalra slammed an unbeaten hundred as India thrashed Australia by eight wickets to lift the ICC U-19 World Cup for a record fourth time.

Openers Prithvi Shaw and Manjot Kalra started the chase of 217 well before rain halted the proceedings briefy with India 23 for no loss in four overs. Once the play resumed, both openers batted fluently until Will Sutherland struck by cleaning up Shaw for 29 with India on 71 for one in 11.4 overs.

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Then India's star batsman of the tournament Shubman Gill joined Kalra at the crease and hardly took any time to settle down. Gill brought up India's 100 in 15.5 overs with a glorious drive past mid-off.

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Kalra looked in sublime touch right from the start and notched up his half-century before Gill was castled by Uppal on 31. Then India switched to cruise mode with Kalra and Harvik Desai (47) putting up an unbeaten stand of 89 runs.

Earlier, opting to bat first, Australia got off to a steady start but lost three quick wickets in Max Bryant (14), Jack Edwards (28) and Jason Sangha (13). With three down at 59 in 11.4 overs, Australia needed someone to anchor the innings and Jonathan Merlo rose to the occasion, stitching two partnerships with Param Uppal and Nathan McSweeney.

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Australia looked set for 270-plus total, but then Anukul Roy and Shiva Singh struck to get India back in the game. The bowlers kept the pressure and continued to chip away with wickets and Australia from 183 for four was bundled out for 216 in 47.2 overs.

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Merlo top-scored with a 102-ball 76 and Ishan Porel, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shiva and Roy who picked two wickets each for India.