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India beat England to add another Under-19 World Cup trophy to their cabinet

A jubilant India Under-19 team with the World Cup trophy (Image courtesy: ICC)

India defeated England by four wickets to win their fifth ICC Under 19 Men's Cricket World Cup at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua in the early hours of Sunday.

The two unbeaten sides met as England went in search of only their second title, but it was India who extended their record of most tournament wins.

Talented pacer Raj Bawa took five for 31 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 for a second-ball duck, with the right-hander unable to move past Prest to the third-highest run-scorer in the competition.

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, as Rasheed brought up his fifty from 83 balls.

However, Sales and Rew combined again this time to dismiss the right-hander with the very next delivery.

England detected a chink in the Indian armour, and in Sales’ next over Dhull was caught by George Bell who wheeled away in celebration knowing two new batters were at the crease.

However, Nishant Sandhu and Bawa, who has the highest individual score of the tournament with 162 not out, moved India to 164 before Bawa became the fifth wicket to fall.

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

Also Read: Force of more than a billion supporting you, Tendulkar tells India U-19 team ahead of World Cup final