India defeated Australia by 96 runs to face England in U19 World Cup Final

With a 96-run victory over Australia, India moved to their eighth ICC Under 19 Men’s Cricket World Cup final, where they will face England.

After a rocky start for the Men in Blue, Shaik Rasheed and Yash Dhull put on the tournament’s second-largest partnership, contributing 204 runs for the third wicket.

Vicky Ostwal, India’s best wicket-taker, grabbed three for 42 in their reply to 290, and Australia was eventually bowled out for 194.

They will now face Afghanistan in the 3rd/4th place play-off on Friday, before the grand finals on Saturday, which will feature England and India.

●   4th Final in a row for India U19

India was in trouble at 37/2 after electing to bat first, with both openers Angkrish Raghuvanshi (6) and Harnoor Singh (16) returning to the pavilion. At the Coolidge Cricket Ground, Dhull (110 off 110) and Rasheed (94 of 108) pieced up a magnificent 204-run combination to help the 2020 finalists reach 290/4 in 50 overs.

In reply, despite a valiant half-century by Lachlan Shaw (51 off 66), Australia U19 succumbed to the pressure applied by India U19 bowlers in the middle overs and were eventually reduced to 194 all out in 41.5 overs, falling short by 96 runs.

With a length ball, the right-arm seamer tricked Raghuvanshi, who attempted a stroke but watched the ball uproot his off stump.

Shaik Rasheed and captain Yash Dhull put on a powerful third-wicket stand, reaching their fifty partnership off 78 balls, one delivery into the innings’ second half. 

Nisbet was rewarded for his tight performance by dismissing the other starter Narnoor for 16, leaving India in trouble at 37/2.

However, that dismissal brought captain Dhull to the crease, and India didn’t look back, as the skipper and Rasheed carefully guided the recovery and then dramatically increased the scoring pace in an outstanding partnership.

With both approaching a century, the pair were still at the crease going into the final 10 overs. Captain Dhull made it to that point before announcing his intentions with a smoking six off the next delivery. The 19-year-old was unfortunate to fall, as he was run out backing up at the non-end strikers for a magnificent run-a-ball 110. 

With Rasheed’s departure leaving India at 241/4 with four overs remaining, the double-blow threatened to stifle what had appeared poised to be an explosive finale to the innings.

However, Rajvardhan Hangargekar (13 off 10) and Nishant Sindhu (12 not out off 10) kept the runs coming until Dinesh Bana (20 not out) concluded the innings in style, blasting two sixes and two fours off the four deliveries he faced. Bana’s late cameo helped India reach 290/5, with the final over yielding 27 runs. 

Wyllie had contributed considerably at the top of the order in Australia’s previous three tournament victories, but his removal didn’t seem to shake the team’s confidence, as Campbell Kellaway (30) and Corey Miller (38) put on a 68-run combination in the next 15 overs.

India’s greatest threat was always supposed to be their superb spin attack, and it delivered, with part-timer Raghuvanshi deceiving Miller with a deceptive change of pace and Ostwal dispatching Kellaway six balls later.

Only Lachlan Shaw survived for any substantial length of time for a hard-fought 51 as India’s spinners stole the game away from Australia. 

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