New Delhi: India’s U19 team got off to a winning start after defeating Australia U19 by 100 runs in their opening match of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2018. Chasing 329, Australia were bundled out for 228, thanks to a disciplined bowling performance by bowlers. Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti scalped three wickets each.
Earlier, batting first skipper Prithvi Shaw led from the front with a 94-run knock and shared a 180-run stand with fellow opener Manjot Kalra (86) to power India to a challenging total.
The splendid top-order batting vindicated Shaw’s decision to bat in their tournament-opener. There was no respite for the Australian bowlers even after the departure of Shaw and Kalra with Shubhman Gill tormenting the bowlers with his 63-run knock.
It was not that Shaw and Klara plundered boundaries, instead, they raised their knocks with some stupendous risk- free batting.
Shaw, though, missed out on a century by six runs as he was caught behind off Will Sutherland, son of former Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland.
The Indian captain faced 100 balls and scored eight boundaries, including two sixes in his knock. His opening partner also missed out on a ton, falling for 86 which came off 99 balls with 12 shots to the fence and on over the ropes.
There were no steady partnerships after their departure even as Gill kept one end solid with his 54-ball knock which had six fours and a six.
The middle order batsmen lost their wickets, trying to accelerate the run-rate as Himanshu Rana (14) and Anukul Roy (6) fell cheaply. Abhishek Sharma though managed to come up with an 8-ball 23-run cameo which propelled India past the 300-run mark. He hit two sixes and as many fours.
As Indian batsmen looked for some quick runs, Australian medium fast bowler Jack Edwards ended up taking four wickets. It was Edwards, who dismissed Rana and then later added wickets of Abhishek and Shiva Singh (10) to his tally.
In response, Australia’s chase got off to a decent start with openers putting a half-century stand.However, the former champions lost wickets at regular intervals and thus the required run-rate kept creeping up.
For Australia, opener Jack Edwards was the top scorer with 73 runs. Once Ankul Roy accounted for his wicket, India were in total control of the match.
India next faces Papua New Guinea U-19 on January 16 at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.
(With PTI inputs)