Five-Star Raj Bawa Gives India Historic Fifth ICC Under-19 World Cup Title With Tense Win Over England

Raj Bawa took 5/31 in a devastating display of bowling 31 and contributed a vital 35 which was backed by a fine 50 from Shaik Rasheed and Nishant Sindhu as India won the ICC Under-19 World Cup for the fifth time by beating England in a tense final.

Raj Bawa and his all-round exploits helped India beat England in the final of the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2022. (Image credit: BCCI Twitter)
By Siddharth vishwanathan | Feb 6, 2022 | 4 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

India created history on Saturday as they defeated England by five wickets to win the ICC Under-19 World Cup for the fifth time in their history. Raj Bawa’s fantastic 5/31 and Ravi Kumar’s 4/34 helped India bowl England out for 189. Bawa then chipped in with the bat to score 35 and share a stand of 67 with Nishant Sindhu. Shaik Rasheed, the vice-captain of the Indian Under-19 team and Nishant Sindhu, chipped in with vital fifties as India won the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2022 title by four wickets.

The fifth Under-19 World Cup title was possible because of the brilliance of Raj Bawa. His haul of 5/31 made him the first Indian bowler to take a five-wicket haul in the final of the ICC Under-19 World Cup. The figures of 9.5-1-31-5 were the best bowling figures in the ICC Under-19 World Cup final, bettering the previous mark of 5/35 set by Pakistan’s Anwar Ali in the final of the 2006 ICC Under-19 World Cup in Colombo. Raj Bawa also held the best bowling figures by an Indian in the final, bettering the mark of 4/8 set by Piyush Chawla also in that same Under-19 World Cup 2006 final in Colombo vs Pakistan.

Had it not been for a magnificent knock of 95 by James Rew, England would have faced further embarrassment. However, the failure of the top order prolonged their Under-19 World Cup pain, having last won it in 1998.

Raj Bawa, Ravi Kumar blow England away in the final of ICC Under-19 World Cup

England chose to bat in the final and they were immediately jolted by the left-arm accuracy of Ravi Kumar. He sent back the inform Jacob Bethell for 2. England tried to counterattack, with George Thomas hitting two fours and one six off Rajvardhan Hangarkekar. But, Ravi Kumar sent back Tom Prest as India continued to make inroads. Thomas, though, was batting in fine touch. He hit two more fours off Ravi Kumar but Raj Bawa’s introduction changed the whole game.

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Bawa got rid of the dangerous Thomas for 27. In the 13th over, the game changed as Bawa sent back William Luxton and George Bell in quick succession. When he got rid of Rehan Ahmed, England were staring down the barrel at 61/6. But, James Rew held firm. He and Alex Horton stitched a solid stand and put away the loose balls.

Just when the partnership was developing, Kaushal Tamble sent back Horton. Rew went past fifty with some crisp fours while James Sales gave him good company. Rew found the boundary on a regular basis as England harbored hopes of a score near 200. The batter entered the 90s with two fours off Hangargekar but on 95, he holed out to deep square leg. The ball popped out of Kaushal Tambe’s hands but he recovered to take a diving catch. Ravi Kumar ended with four wickets and Bawa took his fifth when he sent back Joshua Boyden for 1.

India lose wickets but make great progress

India started poorly with Angriksh Raghuvanshi being dismissed cheaply. Shaik Rasheed, who hit a fifty in the semi-final, looked in confident touch yet again with a couple of fours. Harnoor Singh also grew in confidence as he too found the boundaries on a regular basis. Just as the partnership was building, Thomas Aspinwall ended Harnoor’s solid knock of 21.

But, Rasheed carried on. Despite being plagued by a calf injury, he made great progress. Yash Dhull, who hit a century against Australia, looked in good touch. But, a rash shot from Rasheed and Dhull in succession got England right back in the game. Rasheed had reached fifty while Dhull fell for 17. Nishant Sindhu, along with Bawa steadied the ship with a magnificent partnership that proved to be game-changing.

After getting their eye in, Bawa and Sindhu struck some sixes to ease the pressure. India were nearing the target when Joshua Boyden removed Bawa for 35.

India win ICC Under-19 World Cup title

England tried to fight back towards the end. Nishant Sindhu held firm despite losing Kaushal Tambe at the other end. He reached his fifty with a boundary and single off James Sales. Dinesh Bana, who looked to end the game in style, smashed two sixes to seal the game like MS Dhoni in the 2011 ICC World Cup. When Bana hit the second six, the entire Indian team was in raptures.

After winning their first title in 2000, India has registered four more wins and broken the heartbreak of 2016 and 2020 in grand style. Yash Dhull now joins Mohammad Kaif, Virat Kohli, Unmukt Chand and Prithvi Shaw as the skippers who have led India to Under-19 glory in the World Cup. One hopes bigger days are in store for the Indian team members of this victorious campaign.

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