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India falters in the final hurdle as West Indies lift U-19 World Cup

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India falters in the final hurdle as West Indies lift U-19 World Cup

The pressure of the final and the green pacy pitch caught India, who were unbeaten in the tournament, off guard as the West Indies bundled out their rivals for 145 before Keacy Carty scored a 52* to help them register a five-wicket victory to lift the 2016 ICC U-19 World Cup title in Mirpur on Sunday.

Brief Scores: India 145 all out in  45.1 overs (Sarfaraz Khan 51(89), John 3/39, Joseph 3/38) lost to West Indies U-19 146/5 in 49.3 overs (Carty 52*(125), Paul 40*(68), Dagar 3/25) by five wickets

Chasing 146, Windies opener Gidron Pope perished early after attempting a hoick over the leg side off Avesh Khan, only to see the ball carrying to Khaleel Ahmed at third man. Although Pope departed early, skipper Hetmyer and wicketkeeper Imlach looked comfortable against the Indian pacers with the pitch settled down after the carnage in the morning. With the match slowly slipping away from India’s grips, Khaleel Ahmed sent back Imlach with a short ball outside the off stump.

However, Hetmyer and Keacy Carty steadied the innings from there on and took the Windies to a comfortable position of 67/2 in what looked like a stroll to the victory. But, left-arm spinner Mayank Dagar had different plans and spun a web around the batsmen to take three wickets for 9 runs in his first four overs. While, Hetmyer and Springer perished going for slogs at long-on and long-off, Goolie smashed it straight back to Dagar for a return catch to end his stay at the crease.

Dagar almost had his fourth in the 35th over with Keemo Paul edging one to Sarfaraz Khan in the slips, only to see the ball bursting through his hands. With the wickets tumbling quickly, Carty and Paul chose to go into a defensive mode and pushed the innings forward through singles. Rishabh Pant behind the stumps also helped the Windies in their endeavour with a couple of dropped catches as they slowly inched towards the target. However, the title was decided in the last over of the match with Keemo Paul edging a ball over Pant to clinch West Indies' maiden U-19 World cup trophy. 

Earlier, West Indies captain Shimron Hetmyer won the toss in the morning and opted to send India into bat on what looked like a green pitch at Mirpur. Indian captain Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant walked into the middle in a mission to see-off the West Indies' new ball attack, but perished cheaply as the Men in Blue had a dreadful start to the finale. Swashbuckling opener Pant, who scored the fastest fifty in U-19 World Cup history in the group stages, was the fastest to depart today with West Indies keeper Tevin Imlach executing a stumping off Joseph in the first over. Pant left the ball alone outside the off-stump but opted to wander out of the crease, and Imlach with an under-arm flick threw the stumps down. 

Joseph made it two in his next over with a pacy bouncer climbing on Anmolpreet to take the edge to gift a simple catch to Imlach behind the stumps. The carnage from Joseph did not end there, and in his fourth over, he sent back skipper Ishan Kishan after trapping him in front of the stumps. Replays showed the ball pitching outside the leg, but with the umpire’s dreaded finger up, Kishan had walked back to the pavilion with his team struggling at 27/3.

With opening bowlers Joseph and Holder out of the attack, Indian batsmen expected some relief on a green pitch, but it never came as Ryan John and Springer took over. Washington Sundar and Armaan Jaffer departed in quick succession to John and Springer as the young guns looked down the barrel at 50/5 in the 18th over. Sarfaraz Khan and Mahipal Lomror steadied the Indian innings from there on to arrest the wicket flow and to push the team to a respectable total. (Also Read: IPL auction 2016: The unheard and the untested, who stole the show)

Even though it was slow, the duo put together a 37-run partnership for the sixth wicket to make India look comfortable for the first time in the match. But it was short-lived as Holder returned for his second spell after the drinks break to send back Lomror for 19 off 43 balls to put the Indian innings once again into tatters.

Holding one end tight, Sarfaraz Khan slowly pushed the Indian total up with singles and twos before launching a six over cow corner off John to get to 48. He would get to his fifty in the next three balls, but at the other end, the colts continued their walk to the pavilion. With no one in support and wickets tumbling fast, Sarfaraz switched into the attacking mode, but perished going for a glory shot after getting trapped in front of the stumps. With Sarfaraz gone, the others didn't last much longer as India bundled out for 145 in 45.1 overs. (Also Read: Our pick for the winners and losers of IPL 2016 after the spending spree)

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