England came back strongly to beat India in the last league match of the Under-19 World Cup in Lincoln to move to the top of Group A. Put in to bat, England ran into trouble against Saurabh Netravalkar, losing both openers early to catches behind the stumps. James Vince and Jack Manuel temporarily resisted, but could not break the shackles imposed by India's sharp new-ball pair. By the 20th over of the innings the top four had all perished, nicking to wicketkeeper Sufiyan Shaikh, three off them to Netravalkar, with just 60 runs on the board. India held the advantage but England turned the tide slowly but surely through the fifth-wicket pair of Ateeq Javid and Ben Stokes.
The pair put on 100 in 21.5 overs as the Indian attack flagged, with Harshal Patel and Harmeet Singh unable to keep up the intensity of the opening bowlers. Javid stroked four fours in his 42 before Harmeet breached his defences in the 40th over - the first of the batting Powerplay. Stokes had been sedate up to this point, getting his eye in and quietly reaching 50 off 61 balls. But with the field coming in and India bowling their lesser bowlers, he went berserk in the company of Michael Bates. The pair added 62 in 41 balls, with Bates turning the strike over efficiently to the set batsman. Stokes scored his second fifty in just 26 balls, thirty of those coming in five balls that sailed over the ropes. Despite the dismissal of both batsmen in the closing stages, Adam Ball took England to a challenging 246.
With bragging rights for the group at stake, the defending champions launched their chase in frenetic fashion: 36 had come in under six overs when Rahul Kannaur fell to David Payne. Mayank Agarwal continued to punish the new ball, slamming two sixes and three fours in his 32, before man-of-the-moment Stokes broke through. Agarwal's dismissal was the first in a decisive passage of play where India lost three wickets for the addition of one run, with Ashok Menaria and Harpreet Singh succumbing to David Payne for no score. Stokes struck again to remove Mandeep Singh and, at 87 for 5, England were on top. Manan Sharma and Shaikh tried to consolidate but, having lost too many wickets, India needed big scores from at least one of them to have a realistic chance of winning the match. Sharma's dismissal for 36, with India still 129 runs away, was a crippling blow from which they never recovered. Wickets fell at regular intervals, and despite a composed 42 from Shaikh and a buccaneering 28 from Netravalkar, India were bowled out 31 runs short of the target.
The result means England will face West Indies in the quarterfinals in Rangiora on January 23, while India will play subcontinental rivals Pakistan on the same day in Lincoln.