The most successful nation at the Under-19 level, India bagged a record-extending fifth title in the 14th ICC Men’s U-19 Cricket World Cup, beating England in by four wickets in the final at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium here.
After a superb bowling performance by Raj Bawa (5/31) and Ravi Kumar (4/34) helped bowl out England for 189 despite a fighting 95 by James Rew, India rode on half-centuries by Shaik Rasheed (50) and Nishant Sindhu (50 not out) to reach 195/6 in 47.4 overs and win the match by four wickets.
Besides winning the five titles, the Indian colts have also finished runners-up thrice — 2006, 2016 and 2020.
India bagged their first title in 2000 in what was the third edition of the event when Mohammad Kaif’s side beat hosts Sri Lanka by six wickets in Colombo.
Kaif’s India restricted Sri Lanka to 178 after the hosts elected to bat and then chased the target with ease, thanks to an unbeaten 39 by Reetinder Singh Sodhi and 27 by Yuvraj Singh, who was eventually adjudged the ‘Man of the Series’. Sodhi received the ‘Man-of-the-Match’ award. The excellent fielding by the Indians, who affected four run-outs, was the highlight of the first innings.
Their next title in the biennial event came in 2008 in Malaysia when the team led by Virat Kohli defeated South Africa U-19 by 12 runs via D/L Method to win the country’s second U-19 World Cup crown.
It was a brilliant performance by the bowlers that clinched the title for India in a tense match that was cut short by rain. Bowled out by South Africa for 159 at Kuala Lumpur, the Indians came roaring back as South Africa chased a revised target. Ajitesh Argal, Ravindra Jadeja and Siddharth Kaul claimed two wickets apiece as India restricted their rivals to 103/8 in 50 overs to win the match by 12 runs. Argal bagged the ‘Man-of-the-Match’ award with figures of 5-2-7-2 in the final.
India’s third title came in 2012 when Unmukt Chand’s team thrashed hosts Australia by six wickets at Townsville.
Pacer Sandeep Sharma claimed 4/54 as India elected to bowl and restricted the Aussies to 225/8 in 50 overs. In response, Unmukt Chand struck a century (111) while wicketkeeper Smit Patel contributed an unbeaten 62 as India, who had finished second in the league, romped to a six-wicket victory. Unmukt, India’s best batsman in the event, was declared ‘Man of the Match’ in the final.
India again defeated Australia in the final to win their fourth title, which came after a gap of six years in 2018. The team led by Prithvi Shaw thrashed Australia by eight wickets in a low-scoring final played at Mount Maunganui, New Zealand.
Australia elected to bat first but were bowled out for 216 in 47.2 overs thanks to clinical bowling by Ishan Porel (2/30), Shiva Singh (2/30), Kamlesh Nagarkoti (2/41) and Anukul Roy (2/32) and Australia lost wickets at regular intervals.
In reply, India rode on a run-a-ball century by Manjot Kalra (101 off 102) while Harvik Desai contributed an unbeaten 47 as Shaw’s team romped to 220/2 in 38.5 overs, winning the final by eight wickets with 67 balls to spare.