In an authoritative show, Indian colts trounced Australia by a massive 100-run margin in their ICC Under 19 World Cup opener.
Skipper Prithvi Shaw led from the front with a 94-run knock and shared a 180-run stand with fellow opener Manjot Kalra (86) to power India to a challenging 328 for seven. There was no respite for the Australians even after the openers departed as Shubhman Gill tormented the bowlers with his 63-run knock.
India pacers Kamlesh Nagrakoti (3/29) and Shivam Mavi (3/45) then shared six wickets between them to knock out Australia for 228 in 42.5 overs. Nagarkoti hit the deck consistently at a speed in the range of 150kmph and was well supported by Mavi, who also clocked 145kmph at times. The two pacers tested Australians with their nagging off-stump line.
Australia opener Jack Edwards top-scored for his side with a 73-run knock after a steady start with Max Bryant (29) but struggled to find support from others. Jonathan Merlo (38) tried his best in the middle order and stumper Baxtor Holt (39) staged a rearguard fight but both were undone by Mavi. India next play Papua New Guinea on Tuesday.
The splendid show by the top-order vindicated Shaw's decision to bat in their tournament-opener. It was not that Shaw and Kalra plundered boundaries, instead they raised their knocks with some stupendous risk-free batting. Shaw, though, missed out on a century by six runs as he was caught behind off Will Sutherland, son of Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland. The Indian captain faced 100 balls and scored eight boundaries, including two sixes in his knock. Kalra also missed out on a ton, falling for 86 which came off 99 balls with 12 shots to the fence and on over the rope.
There were no steady partnerships after their departure even as Gill kept one end solid with his 54-ball knock which had six fours and a six. The middle order batsmen lost their wickets, trying to accelerate the run flow as Himanshu Rana (14) and Anukul Roy (6) fell cheaply.
Abhishek Sharma though managed to come up with a 8-ball 23-run cameo which propelled India past the 300-run mark. He hit two sixes and as many fours. As Indian batsmen looked for some quick runs, Australian medium fast bowler Jack Edwards ended up taking four wickets. It was Edwards, who dismissed Rana and then later added wickets of Abhishek and Shiva Singh (10) to his tally.
Brief scores: India: 328/7 in 50 overs (Prithvi Shaw 94, Kalra 86, Shubham Gill 63; Jack Edwards 4-65) bt Australia: 228 all out in 42.5 overs (Jack Edwards 73, Jonathan Melro 38, Baxter Holt 39; Shivam Mavi 3-45, Kamlesh Nagarkoti 3-29).