Unmukt Chand shines bright, India lift 3rd U-19 World Cup
Unmukt Chand led from the front with a magnificent hundred as India Under-19 lifted their third World Cup title after beating formidable defending champions Australia by six wickets in the final on Sunday.
This was India U-19s first triumph after Mohammed Kaif and Virat Kohli led their respective teams to victory in 2000 and 2008 editions respectively.
Courtesy a magnificent unbeaten 111 by Unmukt and his unbroken partnership of 130 runs with glovesman Smit Patel, India overhauled a competitive target of 226 on a bouncy strip with 14 balls to spare.
It was one of the best centuries one could have witnessed at the junior level as Unmukt hit seven fours and as many as six sixes during his 130-ball knock.
He completed his century with a six over extra cover off Alex Gregory but the celebrations were very muted. The skipper knew that the job was only half done.
Once Smit, who hit an effective 62, slog-swept off-spinner Ashton Turner towards deep mid-wicket for a four a number of Indian supporters rushed to the ground along to celebrate with the team.
Though four wickets were lost in the chase, it never looked like an uphill task for the Indians, who were subdued in the middle overs but accelerated towards the end to get to the target with ease.
After Prashant Chopra was out chasing a delivery down leg side of Mark Steketee without troubling the scorers, Unmukt and in-form batsman Baba Aparajith (33) took the attack to the opposition.
The duo added 73 runs for the second wicket playing the Aussie pace trio of Steketee, Joel Paris and Gurinder Sandhu with ease.