U-19 World Cup: India begins campaign with big win

Prithvi Shaw-led India got off to a rollicking start to the U-19 World Cup beating Australia by 100 runs at Mount Maunganui.

Manjot Kalra celebrates his half-century. Photo: ICC

Excellent batting by the top order coupled with some superb bowling propelled India to a comprehensive 100-run victory over Australia in a Group B match of the ICC U-19 World Cup here on Sunday.

Electing to bat, India rode on half-centuries from Prithvi Shaw, Manjot Kalra and Shubman Gill to post a formidable total of 328 for seven in their 50 overs.

Indian pacers Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti then picked up three wickets each as the Australians were dismissed for 228 in 42.5 overs.

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The Indian pace trio of Mavi, Nagarkot and Ishan Porel clocked over 145 km per hour during their spells. An injury to Porel was the cause cause of concern for the Indians.

Excellent all-round performance by Jack Edwards was the only bright spark for Australia. Edwards returned with figures of 4 for 65 with his right-arm medium pace and was the only Australian who stood up to the Indian bowlers, posting a 90-ball 73 before being bowled by left-arm spinner Anukul Roy.

The Indians dominated proceedings from the moment skipper Shaw won the toss. The Indian captain led from the front, scoring 94 runs in a 100-ball innings which contained eight boundaries and a couple of sixes.

He did, however, go through a moment of anxiety when he was caught behind off Will Sutherland’s bowling. But television replays revealed that Sutherland had overstepped.

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Shaw received a second reprieve, again off Sutherland’s bowling, when he mistimed a pull only to be caught at deep backward square. The Indian captain was, however, dismissed off the very next ball when he was caught by Baxter Holt on the off-side.

Fellow opener Manjot Kalra gave his skipper excellent support from the other end with a 99-ball 86 which included 12 boundaries and a six.

They put together an opening stand of 180 runs to gift a strong foundation to the Indian innings. This was the highest opening partnership for India in any U-19 World Cup and their second highest for any wicket.

Shubman Gill then hammered home the advantage with 63 runs off 54 balls with six boundaries and a six. Abhishek Sharma provided a late flourish to the Indian innings with an eight-ball 23.

Except for Edwards, the rest of the the Australian bowlers had a forgettable day although off-spinner Param Uppal was economical over his eight overs with figures of 1 for 35.

The Indian total was the highest ever by any team against Australia in an U-19 World Cup. In reply, Australia were given a steady start as Edwards and Max Bryant produced an opening stand of 57 runs in 14 overs before the latter was caught at extra cover off Nagarkoti’s bowling.

The former champions then lost wickets at regular intervals as the Indian bowlers started to dominate.

Brief scores:

India: 328/7 in 50 overs (Shaw 94, Kajra 86, Gill 63; Edwards 4/65) vs Australia: 228 in 42.5 overs (Edwards 73; Savi 3/45 Nagrakoti 3/29).

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