Sunday night saw a tense battle between India and Bangladesh in the final of the Under 19 World Cup in South Africa. India who was on a 10-match winning streak in Under One Day International matches were the favorites but Bangladesh was expected to give a tough fight. Bangladesh won the toss and asked India to bat first. Defending champions India were off to a slow start due to some aggressive fast bowling from the boys in green. India’s star opening batsman Yashasvi Jaiswal fought hard despite the team losing regular wickets. He made 88 which powered India to a small score of 177 not out. Jaiswal who once sold Paani Puris in Mumbai to meet ends has been the star for India at the World Cup. His 400 runs in 6 innings including a stunning hundred vs Pakistan in the semifinals was the silver lining for India despite the loss in the final.
India were in no mood to give up. The Bangladeshi opening batsmen came out firing all cylinders as the Indian bowlers looked rather clueless. But 19-year-old leg spinner Ravi Bishnoi yet again proved why he is the trump card. The Jodhpur lad spun a web of destruction and picked up 4 wickets in no time to get India back in the game. The defending champions were back and dictating terms but the Bangladeshi batsmen batted with confidence and avoided mistakes. Slowly and steadily, the target came closer for the boys in green as they went past the finish line despite a small rain delay.
Bangladesh won by 3 wickets, a narrow win but that was enough to make them the World Champions. A first World Cup triumph for the side that looked menacing in the tournament right from the start. For India, the loss meant that their Under 19 World Cup tally remains at 4 titles and will have to try once again in 2022 in West Indies.
Written by: Yash Chawla. Yash is former Anchor of NDTV with over 9 years of experience as a sports journalist