Agreed, not many of us were following the final of Under-19 World Cup between Indian and South Africa as keenly as the final of CB Series between India and Australia. But the colts did as well as their senior team and defeated SA by 12 runs in the rain affected final.
With rain reducing the Under-19 World Cup final to a battle of nerves, the Indian bowlers held theirs better than did the South African batsmen to win by a dozen runs, and with that their second U-19 World Cup. Set 99 to chase off 98 balls after the rain break, South Africa never got going and collapsed 13 runs short.
Bowled out for 159 following a stifling performance by South Africa’s bowlers and fielders, India responded by blowing the South African top order away before rain intervened. Facing India’s new-ball bowlers, Ajitesh Argal and Pradeep Sangwan, the South Africans batted like rabbits caught in headlights, showing no intent and failing to get the ball off the square. [Cricinfo]
Left handed middle order batsman, Tanmay Shrivastava, scored 46 runs, highest for his team. India were all out for 159 runs in 45.4 overs. South African lost three quick wickets when came out to bat before their innings were interrupted by rains. Given a reduced target of 116 from 25 overs, SA could managed just 103 runs for the loss of 8 wickets. Medium pacers Siddharth Kaul and Ajitest Argal took two wickets each and left arm spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Iqbal Abdulla took two and one wickets respectively.
A Bit Of History
Initiated in 1988 and revived again in 1998, this year featured the seventh edition of Under-19 World Cup. It is held after every two years. The inaugural edition brought stars like Inzamam-ul-Haq, Brian Lara, Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussain and Chris Cairns. It was won by Australia when they beat Pakistan in the final. Re-started in 1998 by Jagmohan Dalmiya as ICC President in his effort to internationalize the sport, the second edition featured 16 teams and was held in South Africa. It was won by England ably led by Owais Shah defeating New Zealand in the finals.
India won the next edition of the cup in 2000 in Sri Lanka. They were led by Mohammad Kaif and had Yuvraj Singh in the line-up who scored 203 in 196 balls. In one particularly devastating innings in the semi-final, he smashed 58 runs off 25 balls against Australia.
Australia won the 2002 event organized in New Zealand by defeating South Africa in the finals. Pakistan won the 2002 edition in Bangladesh by defeating West Indies in the finals. Pakistan again clinched the trophy in 2006 when they prevailed over arch-rivals India.
Even though success at the junior level does not necessarily translates into success at the highest level but there have been some good finds for India during this tournament. Tanmay Shrivastava was the highest run getter of the event scoring 262 runs at an impressive average of 52.40. There were two other Indian in the top 5 run scorers with captain Virat Kohli scoring 235 runs and Taruwar Kohli 218 runs. Virat also scored 100, the highest individual score for his team (third highest in the tournament) against West Indies in just 74 balls. Left arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla from Mumbai was the pick of the bowlers taking 10 wickets in 6 matches. Considering the fact that Indian cricket team has not had a genuine left arm spinner in a long time, Abdulla sure is an interesting prospect.
With both Indian Cricket League and Indian Professional League fighting over domestic cricketers, Indian colts would do well to resist the temptation of money for a few years and focus on developing their game. And with Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly and Kumble due to retire in coming years, it will provide an excellent opportunity for these young lads to break into the Indian side.