NORTH SOUND: India clinched a record-extending fifth Under-19 World Cup title on Saturday after a late partnership between Nishant Sindhu and Raj Bawa sealed a four-wicket win over England in a low-scoring game in Antigua.
Set 190 to win, India’s run chase was dealt an early blow when opener Angkrish Raghuvanshi was tamely caught behind off Joshua Boyden’s second ball of the innings before Harnoor Singh and Shaik Rasheed settled in and saw off the new ball.
England, looking to win only their second title, kept chapping away and reduced the opposition to 97-4 before a 67-run stand between Sindhu (50 not out) and Bawa (35) swung the momentum back in India’s favour.
Wicketkeeper Dinesh Bana finished off the job in style, smashing consecutive sixes off James Sales to take India home.
“Proud moment for India, that we have managed to achieve this. It was difficult at the start to get the combination right,” said India captain Yash Dhull. “But as time went we became a family and the team atmosphere was good. Great moment to be playing under this lot of support staff.”
Earlier, England won the toss and opted to bat but India made a blistering start with the ball through medium pacer Ravi Kumar (4-34), with opener Jacob Bethell dismissed for two while skipper Tom Prest was bowled for a duck.
England were reeling at 61-6 with Raj Bawa (5-31) tearing through the middle order but James Rew (95) and James Sales (34 not out) stitched together a 93-run stand to keep them in the hunt.
Rew fell five runs short of what would have been a heroic century when he pulled Ravi to deep square leg where Kaushal Tambe juggled the catch before diving forward to pouch the ball one-handed.
“We would have liked to bat better… but the way James Rew batted was outstanding, deserved a hundred. We definitely got the bowling and we did believe we could defend this. But they batted well,” said Prest.