India has done it, their young boys have pulled it off. After all, the hard work they put in throughout the course of the tournament has paid off as they win the Under-19 world Cup after four year.
It has become a tradition in recent times that India is considered the hot favourite in every tournament they participate in.
The 2022 U-19 World Cup was no different. Even though every team was going to field new and inexperienced players, India was still one of the top teams. And they played like that throughout the tournament as well.
Under the very able leadership of Yash Dhull and the coaching of VVS Laxman, the Indian team cruised through every match. They were so efficient in every department of the game that they seemed almost invincible in this tournament.
This form of theirs was replicated in the results. And they reached the finals without breaking a sweat.
Although no matter how good you are, finals can make your nerves jangle. The history of cricket has seen some of the mightiest teams falter in the finals. Hence there was immense pressure on the Indian boys coming into the game against England.
This Indian unit, however, was differently made. Even in the tournament’s biggest game, they didn’t lose their composure or look out of their ordinary self. As a result, they were crowned as the champions.
Raj Bawa and Ravi Kumar’s great performance with the ball
Winning the toss in the critical game, England decided to put the Indians under pressure by making them chase.
The move backfired big time for the English side as they failed to get on to a good start. Instead, India had the upper hand from the starting moments of the match.
Ravi Kumar, the boy with the golden arm, made the breakthrough in the second over of the game to dismiss Bethell for a score of 2. This rattled the top order of England, and they lost another wicket two overs later, and Kumar was the man to claim it again.
Thomas and Rew negotiated the first powerplay tentatively. Suddenly, it felt like things would ease up for England, but Ravi Bawa happened to England.
The pace bowling allrounder removed George Thomas on the very first ball of the 11th over. Two overs later, he struck twice and then once again in the 17th over to reduce England to 61 for 6.
For that moment, it felt as if England would be bundled well under the score of 100. Indian bowlers ran the show, and England batters had no answer to their stupendous bowling.
James Rew, who saw all the wickets fall right in front of his eye, decided to drop the anchor on one end. He received some support from Alex Horton and later with James Sales.
Rew formulated a magnificent partnership of 93 runs with Sales. He brought up his half-century during this partnership and played a superb inning of 95 runs to bring his team’s total to 184.
Ravi Kumar came back into the attack to break this fantastic partnership. He picked two more wickets in quick succession to add to England’s misery. And later, Bawa picked up the final wicket to complete his fifer.
Both Ravi Kumar and Raj Bawa were the pick of bowlers for India. They picked up 4 and 5 wickets, respectively. Kaushal Tambe got the solitary wickets among the spinners.
This incredible display of bowling by India reduced the English inning to a score of 189.
India wins the Under-19 World Cup
India didn’t have the best of starts in the second inning. Their opening batter Angkrish Raghuvashi was dismissed for a duck in the very second ball of the inning.
This early wicket put some pressure on the Indian batters. But Harnoor Singh and Shaik Rasheed threaded a 49-run partnership for the second wicket that steadied the Indian inning.
After Harnoor’s departure, Rasheed threaded another partnership with the captain Yash Dhull. At one point, it felt as if the duo would take the team to victory, just the way they did in the semi-finals.
Rasheed brought up his half-century in 83 balls, and things were looking easy until James Sales struck twice in consecutive overs. Rasheed and Dhull were both sent to the pavilion in a matter of 8 deliveries, and India suddenly looked in all sorts of troubles.
With two new batters on the crease, it was never going to be an easy task. But it was Raj Bawa’s day as he threaded another partnership with Nishant Sindhu to take his team closer to the target.
Together they added 67 runs in 88 balls before Bawa was dismissed for a well made 35. England felt as if they were in the game suddenly.
With 26 required in seven overs in these tricky conditions, it was anyone’s game.
The Indian boys held their nerves better than their English counterparts. Nishant Sindhu continued to played in his own way after Bawa’s departure.
It had boiled down right to the wire. India required 12 runs off the last three overs and Dinesh Bana just discounted James Sales for two sixes in consecutive deliveries to win the game for his country. Nishant Sindhu scored 50 runs from 54 balls to take his side to victory with 11 balls to spare.
India continues their domination in the Under-19 world cups as they win the tournament for a record fifth time.