The country was wrapped in euphoria and the reason was cricket again! Déjà vu it was in the form of another Cricket World Cup Trophy- the Under 19 World Cup Trophy. The victory was made special as the Indian squad defeated Australia on an Australian pitch, and this is a never before feat for a World Cup Final. It was a hat trick U- 19 World Cup victory in itself and India now holds top spot in both the age categories of the sport.
The Australian side sent out to bat first, set the bar at 225 runs for India. Initially the lads in blue came across strong but stumbled at 97 runs at the loss of 4 wickets, then captain Unmukt Chand stepped up to the job, and replicated what the Indian skipper M S Dhoni did in the previous World Cup. Chand picked up the mantle and with a personal score of 111 not out, helped India bring the cup home. A notable contribution was made by wicketkeeper Smit Patel who chipped in with 62 runs and stood strong alongside skipper Chand.
Equally- if not more- exciting was the lead up to the final match. The quarter- finals saw India up against Pakistan and boy wasn’t that a nail bitter! The semi- finals against New Zealand also proved to be a tough one. Except the trio of Prashant Chopra, Baba Aparajith and Unmukt Chand the rest of the line up faltered and the Indian scoreboard froze at 209 runs. The spinners and seamers worked their magic as New Zealand fell for 200/ 9 only 10 runs short of the target. These two victories paved way to the final clash against Australia and the crescendo was the final victory in Townsville.
The team was congratulated and received a warm welcome back home. PM Manmohan Singh, M S Dhoni and Virat Kohli congratulated the squad. The cricketers not only made us proud on an international stage but helped India forget Coalgate or SMS ban for a moment as India united to celebrate this victory.