Chand hands India World Cup triumph
Captain Unmukt Chand’s unbeaten century guided India to Under-19 World Cup glory with a six-wicket win over hosts Australia at the Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville.
Chand’s 111 from 130 balls, including seven fours and six sixes, underpinned a pursuit of 226 with 2.2 overs to spare - the highest chase at the venue. He shared an unbroken stand of 130 with Smit Patel, who hit 62.
Seamer Sandeep Sharma’s 4-54 from 10 overs helped to keep Australia to 225 for eight, skipper and player of the tournament William Bosisto top-scoring with 87 not out.
Sharma capitalised on Chand winning the toss by bowling Jimmy Peirson for nought and trapping fellow opening batsman Cameron Bancroft lbw in his first two overs.
Baba Aparajith then bowled Kurtis Patterson and Ravikant Singh had Meyrick Buchanan caught behind in consecutive overs to leave the hosts 38 for four.
However, Bosisto responded by aiding two back-to-back fifty partnerships: 65 with Travis Head, who was run out for 37, and 93 with Ashton Turner, who fell to Sharma for 43.
Sharma again made it two wickets in as many overs, by snaring Alex Gregory, and Joel Paris was run out without scoring in the next.
Mark Steketee got an early breakthrough by having Prashant Chopra caught behind for nought, but opener Chand and Aparajith added 73 for the second wicket until the latter departed to Gurinder Sandhu for 33.
Two cheap wickets - Turner had Hanuma Vihar caught and bowled before Paris removed Vijay Zol caught behind - left India 97 for four in the 25th over and the game in the balance.
Chand and Patel, though, secured India’s third U19 World Cup win after victories in 2000 and 2008.