U19 World Cup: Dhull, Rasheed take India to fourth straight final
India 290 for 5 (Dhull 110, Rasheed 94, Nisbet 2-41) beat Australia 194 all out (Shaw 51, Ostwal 3-42, Sindhu 2-25, Ravi 2-37) by 96 runs
For the fourth edition in a row, India is in an Under-19 World Cup final. Yash Dhull’s team flattened Australia to complete a fifth straight comprehensive win, with the captain leading from the front with 110.
He was assisted by his vice-captain Shaik Rasheed (94), and their 204-run partnership helped India recover from 37 for 2 to an eventual total of 290 for 5.
It was then time for India’s spinners to steal the spotlight. Angkrish Raghuvanshi broke a promising second-wicket stand between Campbell Kellaway (30) and Corey Miller (38), and left-arm spinners Vicky Ostwal and Nishant Sindhu did the rest.
The spinners knuckled Australia down from 71 for 1 to 125 for 7 in the chase, and despite some late resistance, the end was a mere formality. India knocked Australia out for the third U-19 World Cup in a row, and in the process, have confirmed their place alongside England in the final.
But it was not all rosy for India, who lost both openers cheaply in the first innings. William Salzmann rattled Raghuvanshi’s stumps early, and soon Harnoor Singh followed when he gloved Jack Nisbet to the keeper.
It was at 37 for 2 that Rasheed and Dhull, both playing only their third game of the competition, got together. And they were in no rush to get the runs.
From the 13th over to the 28th, Rasheed and Dhull hit just three fours altogether, and made it clear early that they were setting anchor. They relied on picking the gaps and taking singles to get 4-5 runs per over, up until the team total reached 100.
Dhull started the charge in the 29th over, and reached his 64-ball fifty in the 31st with a pull through midwicket for four. The boundaries lifted his strike rate and India raced to 150 in the 36th over. Rasheed, though, was the one who looked to be playing the long game while Dhull changed gears. He reached his fifty in 78 balls after surviving a run-out chance.
After Rasheed’s fifty, though, he was a changed player. Runs started to flow from both ends when Rasheed hit two boundaries down the ground and a swivel to fine leg, matching Dhull shot for shot. Rasheed was particularly hard on Salzmann, hitting the seamer for a hat-trick of fours in the 41st over.
With Rasheed getting into the nineties before him, Dhull again brought out the big shots. In one Tom Whitney over, he cut behind point twice in a row to move from 90 to 98, he then knocked a two to reach his century, and hit a six over his head to move to 108.
However, he was run out on 110 in an anti-climactic manner when a straight drive from Rasheed took something off bowler Nisbet’s hand, leaving Dhull stranded outside the crease. Rasheed’s agony multiplied the very next ball when he was out on 94 after hitting to point, which also went to the TV umpire for a referral.
The two wickets in two balls weren’t going to dampen India’s scoring though. Despite a maiden 47th over, the incoming batters smacked 48 in the last 18 balls to take India to 290. Dinesh Bana (four-ball 20*) and Sindhu hammered 27 off the last six balls.
Australia’s in-form batter Teague Wyllie was out early in Australia’s chase, lbw after missing a Ravi Kumar delivery. Kellaway and Miller looked to rebuild, but they fell in quick succession after a 68-run stand for the second wicket. Raghuvanshi had Miller lbw in the 17th over and next over it was Kellaway who was out, a soft dismissal to short midwicket, off Ostwal.
That was the start of the collapse. Sindhu – back into the XI after missing the quarter-final due to Covid-19 – and Ostwal quickly reduced Australia to 125 for 7. Their controlled left-arm spin offered few boundary shots, with Ostwal impressing once again with his variations in release speed and lines that earned him a three-for.
Lachlan Shaw did offer a short-lived fightback, but with the target so far away, Australia needed more from him and the three remaining others. Kaushal Tambe then had Jack Sinfield stumped for 20, Shaw fell for 51, and Australia’s innings was over on 194 when Whitney was run out.
India, unbeaten in all five games, will play Saturday’s final against England, who are also unbeaten. While India will be chasing their fifth title on Saturday, England will be aiming for their first title in 24 years. (ESPNcricinfo)