REUTERS - Skipper Unmukt Chand blasted an unbeaten century as India beat defending champions Australia by six wickets in the final to win the ICC Under-19 World Cup at Townsville in Australia on Sunday.
Chasing a 226-run victory target, India slumped to 97 for four inside 25 overs before Chand (111 not out) and Smit Patel (62 not out) added 130 runs for the unbroken fifth wicket to romp home with 14 balls to spare.
Chand hit seven boundaries and six sixes in his 130-ball knock, while Patel proved the perfect foil hitting four boundaries in his gritty 84-ball knock.
“Townsville has been amazing to us. Today we have set no limit for ourselves. If we create some nuisance, please forgive us,” a beaming Chand said after the victory.
Earlier, Sandeep Sharma took four wickets as Australia scored 225 for eight, a total built largely around skipper William Bosisto’s unbeaten 87, after being put in by the Indians.
Bosisto, however, was guilty of dropping his Indian counterpart at mid-wicket when Chand was on 84.
Patel too benefitted from sloppy Australian fielding and was dropped by wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson when on two.
Chand, adjudged man of the match, became the third Indian captain to lift the trophy, joining Mohammad Kaif (2000) and Virat Kohli (2008).
Soon after the victory, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced Rs 20 lakh cash award for each player and Rs 15 lakh for support staff members.
“We won the ‘senior’ World Cup last year, and now our boys have triumphed in the junior version of the tournament. This is a great day for Indian cricket,” BCCI president N Srinivasan said in a statement.