Tauranga: It’s raining and Indian team and their fans will hope that it stops soon. India are 23/0 from 4 overs while chasing 217-run target and clearly favourites to win the final. But will rain spoil the party? The bowlers have done their job and the focus is now on batsmen as Prithvi Shaw and the boys need 217 runs to win the final and clinch 2018 ICC Under-19 World Cup, beating Australia here at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, Tauranga on Saturday. Shaw and Manjot Kalra are in the middle as India eye a record 4th title.

India 23/0 from 4 overs:

Oh dear, it’s raining, covers are out and the players are going back to the dressing room!
Manjot Kalra had just tonked a free-hit for a six and Prithvi Shaw has hit a sumptuous four through the leg-side. Australia, though, won’t mind this intervention.

Australian innings:

While Jonathan Merlo scored a gritty fifty, the Indian bowlers, who struck at regular intervals, bundled out Australia for 216 in the 2018 ICC Under-19 World Cup final at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, Tauranga on Saturday.

Ishan Porel (2//30), Anukul Roy (2/32) Shiva Singh (2/36) and Kamlesh Nagarkoti (2/41) scalped two wickets each to deny Australia a chance to score a big total on the board after they elected to bat on a pitch, that was said to be a belter.

Australia enjoyed a brisk start, with openers Max Bryant and Jack Edwards, who rode his luck, playing shots to take Australia to 32/0 after five overs. However, Ishan Porel, who broke Pakistan’s back in the semifinals. struck twice in quick succession to remove Edwards and Bryant before Kamlesh Nagarkoti reduced Australia to 59/3 by removing skipper Jason Sangha.

While Param Uppal and Merlo stitched a 75-run partnership, Anukul Roy broke Uppal’s vigil to end the partnership. Nathan McSweeney joined Merlo as the two put in 49 runs together. But then Shiva Singh’s double strike left Australia reeling as the left-arm spinner dismissed McSweeney and Will Sutherland in quick succession.

Merlo, who had held the Australian innings together, was left with no other option but to play his strokes and one such shot ended his innings as Anukul got him out in the deep as Shiva took a neat catch running in. Australia were 212/7 when Merlo got out and the India did not allow the Australian lower-order any breathing space as they scalped last three wickets for four runs to get all out for 216.

Australia 216 all out from 47.2 overs:

WICKET! That’s a wrap! Australia have tumbled! Shivam Mavi gets a wicket. Ryan Hadley edges one to Harvik. From 191/5 to 216 all out, that escalated rather quickly for Australia. India need 217 runs to lift the ICC Under-19 World Cup for the record fourth time.

Australia 215/9 from 46.3 overs:

WICKET! Run-out! Top work from Shiva Singh in the deep once again. He is just everywhere and troubling the Aussies. He rushes in to put his body on the line, while attempting a catch! The ball falls just short but he is aware and quickly throws the ball back at the wicketkeeper Harvik to catch Baxter Holt short of his crease.

Australia 214/8 from 46.1 overs:

WICKET! Nagarkoti disturbs the timber! Australia 8 down as Zak Evans makes a walk back to the dressing room. Are we gonna see a crumble?

Australia 212/7 from 45.3 overs:

WICKET! A big wicket for India! Merlo’s vigil comes to an end. Did he play a shot too many? Maybe not. But India won’t mind that one bit. His reverse sweep is caught in the deep by Shiva Singh. Australia 7 down.

Australia 191/6 from 41.3 overs:

WICKET! Shiva Singh does the trick again but what a fine catch it is from Harvik Desai! Will Sutherland tries to guide one through the off-side and Harvis latches onto an outside. Two quick wickets for India and Shiva and Australia are under pressure.

Australia 185/5 from 40 overs:

WICKET! Shiva SIngh strikes for Team India! Nathan McSweeney departs for 23. Similar dismissal to that of Param Uppal. The ball gripped as McSweeney tried to play across the line. The ball takes leading edge and goes back to the bowler

Australia 163/4 from 35 overs:

Jonathan Merlo has kept Australia in the hunt but he will need someone to accompany him a little longer if Australia have to put up a competitive total on board. Can Nathan McSweeney be that guy?

Australia 134/4 from 28.5 overs:

WICKET! What a fine over this is! Anukul Roy does the trick for India. Param Uppal departs, caught and bowled. This looked around the corner. There was flight and Uppal tried to work one through the leg side, unsuccessfully as the leading edge lands into Anukul’s hands.

Australia 117/3 from 25 overs:

Jonathan Merlo and Param Uppal have brought up 50-run partnership as Australia look to rebuild their innings. While Indian spinners have managed to keep the run-rate in check, they have not got any wickets as yet.

Australia 94/3 from 20 overs:

Jonathan Merlo and Param Uppal are looking to steady the ship and deny India a chance to run through the Australian batting line-up. India, to their credit though, have managed to keep things tight.

Australia 59/3 from 11.4 overs:

WICKET! What a fine catch this is from wicketkeeper Harvik Desai! Kamlesh Nagarkoti has struck in his first over and it’s a big wicket of Australian skipper Jason Sangha. He plays one away from the body and edges it. Harvik launches himself to his right to take a stunner.

Australia 52/2 from 10 overs:

WICKET! Ishan Porel is at it again! And look at that for celebrations. He is all pumped up. Jack Edwards plays a shot too many and Kamlesh Nagarkoti has taken an easy catch in the covers. Australia have lost the aggressor.

Australia 32/1 from 5.1 overs

WICKET! Early inroads! Ishan Porel has struck and that’s the end of Australia’s opening stand. Bryant has played one in the air and Abhishek Sharma has taken a fine catch to give India their first breakthrough.

Australian skipper Jason Sangha has won the toss and elected to bat in the all-important 2018 ICC Under-19 World Cup at the at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, Tauranga on Saturday.

Both the teams have opted to stick with tried and tested formula as they have retained the same playing XI from their respective semifinals.

Here are the teams for the final:

India U-19: Prithvi Shaw(Captain), Manjot Kalra, Shubman Gill, Harvik Desai (wicketkeeper), Riyan Parag, Abhishek Sharma, Anukul Roy, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Shiva Singh, Ishan Porel.

Australia U-19: Jack Edwards, Max Bryant, Jason Sangha (Captain), Jonathan Merlo, Param Uppal, Nathan McSweeney, Will Sutherland, Baxter J Holt (wicketkeeper), Zak Evans, Ryan Hadley, Lloyd Pope.

Sangha said that his team has improved a lot in the course of the tournament and now closer to play its best cricket.

“Every game we’re improving, and I think we are now close to playing our best cricket. Every day we’re becoming more confident. We’re just a better team than we were in the first game, and now we’re ready to play our best cricket,” said Sangha, after electing to bat.

Shaw would have liked to bat first too had India won the toss.

“I would also have opted to bat first, actually. Wicket seems to be good, the same as when we played the first game here. I’m really enjoying leading my country. I’m very proud, and I’m really looking forward to this game. We as a team are ready, we’re really looking forward to it and we hope everyone will do well today,” said Shaw at the toss.

Having emerged as unbeaten so far in the tournament, India will look forward to bagging the prestigious trophy for a record 4th time as they lock horns with Australia in the final of the ICC Under-19 World Cup, here on Saturday.

Both sides have won the trophy thrice previously but the Boys in Blue, who have edged their counterparts head-to-head in recent years, will aim to make history in the day-night contest.

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Prithvi Shaw, who is being tipped as the next ‘Sachin Tendulkar’ will be hoping to join the company of Mohammad Kaif, Virat Kohli and Unmukt Chand who have led the nation to glory in the mega event.

India, the tournament favourites are coming off with a thumping victory against arch-rivals Pakistan, having bundled out the opposition for a paltry 69 after setting up a total of 272 runs on board.

Shaw’s side beat the Australians in the inaugural encounter by 100 runs but that has still remained the lowest ever victory margin for Rahul Dravid’s boys in the tournament.

Overall, India have impressed on all fronts in the tournament thus far. Opening pair Shaw and Manjot Kalra have provided solid starts for the team along with number 3 batsman Shubman Gill who has been in scintillating form.

Gill is coming off after striking a thunderous century against Pakistan in the semis and all eyes will be on the Punjab batsman once again.

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The likes of Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti have spearheaded the pace attack while spinners Abhishek Sharma and Anukul Roy have caused all sorts of confusion for batsmen.

Australia, meanwhile, will look forward to extracting revenge for the loss suffered at the start. The Jason Sangha-led side have moved from strength to strength after losing to India and have scripted four consecutive wins on the trot.

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The Aussies will back their bowlers to do the job for them, who have showcased their brilliance in the knockout stages. Pacer Jason Ralston scalped a record seven wickets for 15 runs against Papua New Guinea before leg-spinner Lloyd Pope raised the bar high with astounding figures of eight for 35 runs in a thrilling quarter-final clash against England.

Date and venue:

The India versus Australia final of 2018 ICC Under-19 World Cup will be played on February 3, 2018, Saturday. The match will take place at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, Tauranga,

Live telecast:

The live telecast of the ICC Under-19 World cup final between India and Australia will be on Star Sports.

Live streaming:

The live streaming of the final will be available on Hotstar

Match-timings:

The all-important India versus Australia ICC Under-19 World Cup 2018 final is scheduled to start at 6.30 AM (IST) – (01:00 AM GMT and 2:00 PM local time). The toss will take place at 6.00 AM (IST) – (00:30 AM GMT and 1:30 PM local time).

Squads:

Australia: Jason Sangha (captain), Xavier Bartlett, Max Bryant, Jack Edwards, Zak Evans, Jarrod Freeman, Ryan Hadley, Baxter Holt, Nathan McSweeney, Jonathan Merlo, Lloyd Pope, Patrick Rowe, Will Sutherland, Param Uppal, Austin Waugh.

India: Prithvi Shaw (captain), Harvik Desai, Shubman Gill, Aryan Juyal, Manjot Kalra, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Riyan Parag, Ishan Porel, Himanshu Rana, Anukul Roy, Abhishek Sharma, Arshdeep Singh, Shiva Singh, Pankaj Yadav.

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