India win ICC Under-19 Men's Cricket World Cup 2022 with victory over England
Antigua, February 6, 2022
India beat England by four wickets with a clinical all-round performance to win their fifth ICC Under 19 Men’s Cricket World Cup in the West Indies.
The victory was made possible by half-centuries by Nishant Sandhu and Shaik Rasheed and superb bowling performances by Raj Bawa and Ravi Kumar.
This was India's fourth successive appearance in the final of the tournament. They had previously won the title in 2000, 2008, 2012 and 2018.
The two sides, who had remained unbeaten in this edition of the tournament, met at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua and Barbuda as England went in search of only their second title after winning it in 1998, but it was India who extended their record of most tournament wins. This was England's first appearance in the final in the 24 years since.
The Yash Dhull-led India U19 team finished the tournament with an unbeaten run in the West Indies, flaunting the strength of the assembly line of next-gen India cricketers.
With this, Dhull joins the illustrious list of captains -- Mohammad Kaif (2000), Virat Kohli (2008), Unmukt Chand (2012), Prithvi Shaw (2018) -- who have lifted the U19 trophy for India in the past.
Raj Bawa took five for 31 and Ravi Kumar bagged four for 34 as England lost wickets early in their innings before 95 from James Rew restored hope in the push for a first trophy since 1998.
It was not to be as both Shaik Rasheed and Nishant Sindhu made fifties before Dinesh Bana crashed back-to-back sixes to seal the win.
England won the toss and chose to bat with their second-highest run-scorer Jacob Bethell alongside George Thomas who had made a courageous 52 in their semi-final win over Afghanistan.
It was a shaky start for Bethell who survived an appeal for caught behind in the second over but fell three balls later as he was dismissed leg before wicket by Ravi Kumar for two.
Captain Tom Prest came in at number three but could not add to his 292 runs as he went for a four-ball duck, England’s first of the tournament.
Thomas was not deterred by the loss of two of his side’s key wickets as he played attractive strokes and earned a brief reprieve having been dropped on 26.
But he too got out before he could have any real impact, caught by Yash Dhull off the bowling of Raj Bawa for 27.
James Rew then put his hand up to be England’s potential saviour, staying put as wickets fell around him, none of the Young Lions middle order able to add more than ten to the total as they slipped to 91 for seven.
It was left to James Sales to work with Rew to put on England’s highest stand of their innings, adding 93 runs to the total before Rew cruelly missed out on his century.
He was caught by Kaushal Tambe for 95 from 116 balls having hit 12 sixes and almost singlehandedly given England a fighting chance.
Sales was left stranded on 34 not out as the tail wagged – England were all out for 189 from 44.5 overs as Bawa claimed five for 31, with Kumar almost equally as impressive with four for 34.
India’s chase of their modest target got off to the worst possible start as Angkrish Raghuvanshi was caught behind off left-arm pacer Joshua Boyden for a second-ball duck, with the right-hander unable to move past Prest to the third-highest run-scorer in the competition.
Shaikh Rasheed and Harnoor Singh didn't take too many risks and batted cautiously. The duo took India to 33/1 after 10 overs as England used three bowlers, including captain Tom Prest, in the first powerplay.
The Men in Blue were able to score at a sedate rate, with Harnoor Singh adding 21 from 46 balls before he too was caught behind.
Shaik Rasheed and Dhull looked to repeat their 204-run partnership they put on against Australia in the semi-final, when Dhull had played a match-winning knock of 110 runs.
The asking rate was not too much but India were under a bit of pressure after that slow start. But Dhull and Shaikh Rasheed showed great composure and added runs quickly.
Rasheed, who took his time during the partnership with Harnoor, was more proactive between the two as he got to his fifty in 83 balls. However, he couldn't carry his innings longer and got out to James Sales while going for a big hit. Soon, Sales dismissed Yash Dhull for 17, caught by George Bell, and helped England claw back in the match with India at 97 for 4 in 28.4 overs.
However, Nishant Sandhu and Bawa, who has the highest individual score of the tournament with 162 not out, moved India to 164.
Both Bawa and Sindhu looked in solid touch and scored at a brisk rate, taking India closer to the target. It took 40 overs for India to hit their first six as Rehan Ahmed was launched over the long-on boundary by Nishant Sindhu, who hit the first six of the second innings to bring his 50-run partnership with Bawa.
With India needing 44 runs in the last 60 balls, Bawa changed gears and smashed a six and a four to turn things in India's favour. In continuation of his aggressive batting, Bawa hit the ball straight to the mid-on fielder and departed after scoring 35 from 54 balls. However, Nishant Sindhu kept his nerves and hit a superb fifty, putting India on the cusp of victory.
It was going to take something special to defeat India even now as the required runs ticked down to 14 from 23 balls.
And something special did arrive, Rehan Ahmed sticking out a hand to stop a near-certain maximum and dismiss Tambe to leave India on 176 for six.
But with Sandhu at the crease, England’s task always seemed difficult, he crashed four runs to relieve the pressure England had been building before taking a single to bring up his first half-century in international cricket.
Dinesh Bana was in the mood to get the trophy in his hands as early as possible smashing a six off his toes to bring the scores level.
Another six followed in the next ball as Bana's teammates raced onto the pitch before the ball had even crossed the rope, knowing victory and the trophy was theirs.
ICC Under 19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022 placings
1 - India
2 - England
3 - Australia
4 - Afghanistan
5 - Pakistan
6 - Sri Lanka
7 - South Africa
8 - Bangladesh
9 – United Arab Emirates
10 – Ireland
11 – West Indies
12 – Zimbabwe
13 – Uganda
14 – Scotland
15 – Canada
16 – PNG