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Kalra, bowlers help India lift ICC Under 19 World Cup for fourth time

Indian team celebrating their Under 19 World Cup final win over Australia
Indian team celebrating their Under 19 World Cup final win over Australia
©ICC / Getty

India U19 220-2 (Kalra 101) beat
Australia U19 216 (Merlo 76) by eight wickets
Final, ICC Under19 World Cup, Bay Oval

Manjot Kalra scored an unbeaten century to help India chase down 217 runs in 38.5 overs with eight wickets in hand against Australia in the final of the ICC Under 19 World Cup at Bay Oval on Saturday.

This is also the fourth time, India have lifted the Under 19 World Cup - which is the most by any country while Australia have emerged victorious three times.

The victory though was set up by the bowlers, who came up with a clinical performance to restrict Australia to 216 runs.

It was Australia, who won the toss and decided to bat first and Jack Edwards (28) signalled his intention with three boundaries in the fifth over from Shivam Mayi (1-46). Ishan Porel (2-30), who had a successful outing against Pakistan had Max Bryant (14) caught at backward point.

Edwards though continued to play positively with two more boundaries in the seventh over before he became Ishan's second victim. Australia ended the first powerplay with a score of 52 for two.

Jonathan Merlo (72) was handed an early reprieve when he was dropped by the keeper in the 11th over but he made amends in the next over from Kamlesh Nagarkoti (2-41) when he took the edge off Jason Sangha's (13) willow.

As the Indian bowlers were gaining momentum, Merlo weathered the storm and shared a 75 run stand for the third wicket with Param Uppal (34) to resurrect the innings. The duo brought their 50-run stand with a boundary in the 23rd over, though the run-rate dipped a bit with the spinners in action.

One of India's successful bowler of the tournament, Anukul Roy (2-32) dented Australia's momentum when he had Uppal caught off his own bowling and by the end of the 30th over, Australia were placed 142 for four.

Merlo completed a 60-ball fifty but a double strike from Shiva Singh (2-36) saw Australia reel at 191 for six. The late flourish Australia desperately wanted did not come as India controlled the second half of the innings exceedingly well to bowl them out for 216 runs in 47.2 overs. Ishan, Shiva, Nagarkoti and Anukul all picked two wickets apiece.

Kalra and skipper Prithvi Shaw (29) started the chase positively scoring 23 runs in the first four overs before rain halted the proceedings for 20 minutes. The runs continued to come at brisk pace on resumption with Shaw bringing the 50-run opening stand in the ninth over with a couple of boundaries.

Kalra too was not far behind as he plundered three more fours in the 11th over from Edwards (0-15). Will Sutherland (1-36) gave Australia some respite when he castled Shaw but player of the tournament Shubman Gill (31) and Kalra played positively adding 60 runs for the second wicket off just 58 deliveries.

Kalra's fifty came off just 47 deliveries and Australia looked down and out by the 20th over at the end of which India were comfortably placed at 125 for one. Uppal (1-38) did manage to remove Gill but that is the final success Australia managed in the innings as Kalra and Harvik Desai (47 not out) saw India home with an unbeaten 89 run stand.

Kalra, who became the second century scorer for India in the tournament was named the man of the match while his team-mate Gill bagging the man of the series award.

© Cricket World 2018