India continued their recent run of form against Australia with a 47-run win in the Under-19 International Series at the Marrara Oval here on Tuesday.
Indian bowlers got the best of Australian batsmen, triggering a dramatic collapse. The hosts appeared on track to reach India's total of 221 before losing six wickets for 19 runs and finishing 174 all out in 47.1 overs.
Ben McDermott batted well for his half-century but the remainder of Australia's line-up were restricted from capitalising on their starts due to India's impressive bowling. Kuldeep Yadav led the way with 3/19.
Earlier, Australia won the toss and elected to bowl on what looked to be a variable wicket. India's openers proved up to the task, looking ominous early and untroubled by Darwin's sub-continental-like conditions.
Wickets were hard to come by for the Aussies but their perseverance was rewarded following Matthew Kelly's dismal of top-scorer and player of the match Ankush Bains (64 from 100 balls) in the 39th over.
Australia's bowlers built the pressure and bowled well at the death, taking seven wickets in the last 10 overs to dismiss India for 221. Cam Valente (3/39) and Gabe Bell (3/34) were the pick of the bowlers, with Kelly (2/45) and Matt Fotia (2/46) also sharing the spoils.
Speaking after the match, McDermott said his team was disappointed with their first loss of the series. "We batted really well in our first game on this wicket when we scored 226 and thought we could chase India's score down. We thought it was very gettable but it got away from us and we were a bit below par where we needed to be with the bat today," he said.
India are the reigning U-19 ICC Cricket World Cup champions. They beat Australia in the final last year in August in Townsville.
In the other U-19 International Series match, New Zealand beat Papua New Guinea by 133 runs at Tracy Village here.
India will next play New Zealand here at the Marrara Oval while Australia will take on Papua New Guinea in a friendly match at Gardens Oval.