India take title in low-scoring thriller
In a low-scoring final, the new-ball pair of Sandeep Sharma and Rush Kalaria bowled India Under-19s to a thrilling five-run win over Sri Lanka Under-19s in Visakhapatnam. Sandeep and Kalaria took seven wickets for 57 runs between them as Sri Lanka were dismissed for 163 chasing India's 168 despite Lahiru Madushanka following up his 4 for 17 with the ball with 63, the highest score of the game.
Sandeep and Kalaria had run through the Sri Lanka top order, reducing the visitors to 27 for 5 in the ninth over. Madushanka came in at No. 7 and revived the chase with a 75-run partnership with Duleeka Thissakuttige. When Thissakuttige fell to the series' leading wicket-taker B Aparajith for a slow 29, Madushanka found enough support from the lower order to take Sri Lanka within 19 runs of victory with three wickets in hand. Kalaria, however, brought India back, catching Madushanka off his own bowling in the 44th over. Amila Aponso was not giving up though and his patient 21 put Sri Lanka on the verge of a win. Sandeep had Aponso caught before bowling last man Dilshan Dhanushka first ball to end the Sri Lanka innings in the 47th over.
India had earlier recovered from a top-order slump as well after being put in, with a 67-run sixth-wicket stand between Akshdeep Nath (55) and wicketkeeper Smit Patel (31) lifting them from 37 for 5. Nath was the eighth wicket to fall - like Madushanka - with the score on 146. What helped India in the end was that they managed to bat out their 50 overs while Sri Lanka were dismissed with 19 balls to spare. India won all their seven games in the tournament.
In the third-place play-off, West Indies Under-19s hammered 365 before keeping Australia Under-19s 16 runs short. West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite set up the highest total of the tournament with his second century in seven matches. Brathwaite added 162 for the second wicket with Anthony Alleyne after John Campbell fell for a duck. Alleyne was more aggressive, hitting 12 fours and three sixes in his 90 off 77 deliveries. Brathwaite continued to anchor the innings after Alleyne fell in the 26th over and put on another 87 with Kavem Hodge. Hodge and wicketkeeper Sunil Ambris ensured West Indies would go well past 350 with frenetic fifties. Hodge's 62 came off 37 balls while Ambris' 50 took just 24. Though Alex Pyecroft and Shane Cassell took four wickets apiece, no Australia bowler went for less than a run a ball.
Derone Davis struck with his first two deliveries in the second over to have Australia in trouble at 11 for 2. Australia were steadied by Cameron Bancroft (63) and Sam Truloff (39). William Bosisto joined Bancroft in the 12th over with the score on 87 and settled in to put Australia on course. Though wickets continued to fall at the other end, No. 9 Cassell joined Bosisto in an 88-run stand off 61 deliveries. Bosisto finally fell for 107 with the score on 297 in the 44th over but Cassell hustled his way to a fifty in 29 balls, keeping Australia in with a chance. His run-out in the 47th over effectively ended Australia's chances. In a game where no bowler went for less than six an over, Davies finished with 3 for 30.