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Boys do a men, lift Under 19 cricket World Cup

 

Three days ago, Delhi lad Unmukt Chand's BBM status said, "I can feel the Cup in my hands." Seventy-two hours later, the 19-year-old and his teammates were dizzily posing for pictures, with the U-19 cricket World Cup firmly in their hands.

 

The young guns came out all blazing on Sunday in coastal Australian town of Townsville to beat hosts and holders Australia by six wickets, powered by skipper Chand's unbeaten 111 in a tense final on a bouncy pitch.

Wicketkeeper Smit Patel (62*) played a perfect supporting role and their unbroken 130-run stand saw India win the U-19 cup the third time.

 

Sent in to bat, Australia made 225-8, with captain William Bosisto scoring 87 not out.

 

India started strongly but collapsed to 97-4 before Chand guided the winners to 227-4 in the 48th over.

 

 

Winners in 2000 and 2008, India will relish this victory for long as it was achieved in demanding pitch conditions and against rivals who were high on confidence after staying unbeaten - until the final.

 

Chand was named the man of the match.

 

India now are both the senior and junior world champions. MS Dhoni's men captured the bigger prize at home last year.

 

The seniors were generous in their praise of the juniors, having kept an eye on the proceedings in Australia while they thrashed New Zealand by an innings and 115 runs on the fourth day of the first Test in Hyderabad on Sunday.

 

"First of all congratulations to the U-19 World Cup team, Unmukt Chand batted really well," said Dhoni.

 

In his congratulatory message to the U-19 team, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, "You are the sports stars of tomorrow."

8/27/2012



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