In a tournament that allows the next generation of cricketers to showcase their talent, the Cricket Under-19 World Cup, held in the West Indies, saw India overcome England in the final to be crowned five times champions.
Both sides were unbeaten throughout the tournament, and England was aiming to get their hands on the trophy for the first time since 1998. India on the other hand, found themselves in the final for a fourth consecutive time and were no strangers to the pressure that accompanies a World Cup final. Upon winning the toss and choosing to bat, England’s problems began to mount very quickly after collapsing to 47-5 after just 13 overs. England was staring down the barrel of humiliation, but it was James Rew’s crucial knock of 95 that led to them posting a total, albeit a low one, of 189.
Upon winning the toss and choosing to bat, England’s problems began to mount very quickly after collapsing to 47-5 after just 13 overs
India’s seamers proved instrumental in reducing England to such a low total, with Ravi Kumar finishing 4-34 and Raj Bawa producing the best bowling performance in a U19 World Cup final, with 5-31. After losing an early wicket, India recovered to 49-2, before vice-captain Shaik Rasheed batted a mature knock of 50 before he and captain Yash Dhull were dismissed quickly to leave them 97-4, giving England a glimmer of hope. However, it was from this point that Nishant Sindhu, new to the crease, chose to attack England’s spinners and earn himself a quickfire half-century. He was joined late on by wicketkeeper Dinesh Bana, who hit the winning runs courtesy of back to back sixes off James Sales, whose expensive over sealed England’s fate. Ultimately, India’s all-around quality made them deserving winners of the game and tournament as a whole.
India’s unbeaten run was not the only surprise of the tournament, with many records being broken and plenty of individual accolades to celebrate as well. Australia’s Dewald Brevis was not only the tournament’s top scorer, but his unbeaten total of 506 is the most runs scored by any batsman in any edition of the U-19 World Cup, being awarded Player of the Tournament as a result. Qasim Akram of Pakistan achieved a unique feat, being the first youth international to score a century and follow it with a five-wicket haul with the ball. The leading wicket-taker was Sri-Lanka captain Dunith Wellalage, with 17 wickets taken across just 6 games, while also scoring 264 runs in the tournament to cap off a fine all-around tournament for the youngster. Despite missing out on being the leading wicket-taker, England’s own Joshua Boyden heavily impressed with the ball. With an astonishing 9 maidens across the tournament, Boyden’s mettle was shown throughout his use of the new ball and at the death.
India’s unbeaten run was not the only surprise of the tournament, with many records being broken and plenty of individual accolades to celebrate as well
One of the many positives of this competition is that it allows more exposure and game time for the players of smaller and newer cricketing nations. Though placing in the bottom four in the overall standings, the likes of Uganda, Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Canada all played their part in this tournament, with Scotland’s Jamie Cairns registering the best bowling figures of the tournament (6-24). With the U-19 World Cup being bi-annually, it is safe to say that the future of cricket is in good hands and the rest of the world will look forward to what these young players have to offer in the future.
In article image 1 courtesy of [@indiancricketteam] via instagram.com. No changes were made to this image.
In article image 2 courtesy of [@englandcricket] via instagram.com. No changes were made to this image.
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