February 8, 2022 - 4:47 am

 India Lifts The Cup

India lifted a record-extending fifth ICC U19 World Cup title after defeating England in the final at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua on Saturday. India’s victory was wrapped up with four wickets and 14 balls to spare, securing a record fifth crown for India in the ICC event’s history. No nation has dominated U19 Men’s international cricket like India have over the past two-and a-bit decades. And the four-wicket victory in Antigua means that India have now won the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup five times in 22 years, finishing runners up in a further three tournaments in that period.

Earlier, India had won the U19 World Cup in 2000, 2008, 2012, and 2018. Chasing 190, India got off to the worst start possible as Joshua Boyden dismissed Angkrish Raghuvanshi (0) on the third ball of the innings. Harnoor Singh and Shaik Rasheed then got together at the crease and the duo put on 49 runs for the second wicket. As soon as India started to gain an upper hand, England stormed right back into the contest in the 18th over as Thomas Aspinwall dismissed Harnoor (21), reducing India to 49/2. Skipper Yash Dhull next joined Rasheed in the middle and both batters stitched together a partnership of 46 runs which saw Rasheed (50) going past his 50-run mark. However, as soon as he reached the milestone, he ended up giving his wicket away to James Sales. In his next over, Sales picked up the scalp of Dhull (17), and India was reduced to 97/4, still needing 93 runs for the win.

Raj Bawa (35) and Nishant Sindhu (50*) then ensured that India does not lose wickets in a cluster. In the end, India registered a four-wicket win to lift the U19 World Cup for the fifth time. Earlier, Raj Bawa scalped five wickets while Ravi Kumar took four as India bowled out England for 189 inside 45 overs. England crumbled in the first half of the innings before James Rew's gutsy 95-run knock helped the Three Lions reach a score of more than the 180-run mark. Opting to bat first, England got off to the worst possible start as left-arm pacer Ravi Kumar picked two wickets (Jacob Bethell and Tom Prest) in the first four overs. George Thomas and James Rew tried to get the partnership going but Raj Bawa dismissed the opener as India took control over the game. England kept losing wickets at regular intervals and was soon found reeling at 61-6 in the 17th over. Meanwhile, James Rew kept fighting hard and scored a fifty to rescue his side from the precarious position. Rew and James Sales put up a fifty-run stand to revive England's innings. However, Rew fell five runs short of a century as Ravi Kumar removed him in the 44th over. Rew's wicket triggered a collapse and England lost the final two wickets to set a 190-run target for India in the final.

Having lost the final to Bangladesh in 2020, India came roaring back in 2022 to win a record-extending fifth U19 World Cup crown. Twitter exploded from Bollywood stars to current and former international cricketers congratulating the team on the win. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated Team India on winning the U19 World Cup title, saying the performance shows that the future of Indian cricket is in safe and able hands. It’s a gala day for Indians. Well don ! Boys for such a terrific performance. India salutes you.