U19 World Cup final: Australia beats Limbani, Tiwary scores 253/7 against India – Times of India

New Delhi: Indian fast bowlers Raj Limbani and Naman Tiwary scored crucial breakthroughs but Australia still managed 253 for seven in the Under-19 World Cup title clash in Benoni on Sunday.

Opting to bat first, Australia's batsmen, except for Harjas Singh, who scored 55 (64b, 3×4, 3×6), struggled to capitalize on their starts on a relatively easy pace pitch.

Limbani, bowling at fast pace, took 3 for 38 and made an early impact by dismissing opener Sam Konstas with a deft in-swinging delivery, preventing Australia from getting off to the fast start as they often did. Used to do in previous matches.

Despite the setbacks, Australia steadied their innings with contributions from Harry Dixon (42, 56 balls) and captain Hugh Wiebgen (48, 66 balls).

In fact, Dixon started with a bang and dismissed left-arm pacer Tiwary (2/63) for 4, 6, 4 in the second over, but he settled into a more relaxed rhythm in Wiebgen's company .

The hallmark of their second-wicket partnership, which scored 78 runs in 18.1 overs, was how they played the Indian spinners, who were a major restrictive force in this showpiece.

There were no major hits but Dixon and Wiebgen managed to keep the scoreboard moving with singles and twos without taking undue risk.

Increase

As the stands were moving, Indian captain Uday Saharan bowled the ball to Tiwary, who was pulled back after an expensive first spell.

Tiwary correctly responded to his leader's call to get rid of Set Wiebgen, whose drive was in the hands of Mushir Khan at point.

The left-arm fast bowler brought India back into the game by dismissing Dixon two overs later.

The left-handed Australian opener had to check his shot in the last minute as Tiwary's back-of-the-hand slower ball took him two brains out, and Murugan Abhishek completed a brilliant catch inside the circle.

At that time the Australian team's score was 99 runs for three wickets. But Harjas and Ryan Hicks (20) took their team's innings forward by adding 66 runs in 11.2 overs for the fourth wicket.

Harjas, who had averaged only eight in this event so far, looked to be struggling early on as he scored only five runs from the first 20 balls.

But sixes and fours on consecutive balls from off-spinner Priyanshu Molia gave them the necessary confidence.

The left-hander was a changed player by that point and he nullified Abhishek's off-breaks with a series of sweeps and slog-sweeps, and two of them landing deep inside the stands for maximums.

Harjas brought up his first half-century of the tournament by hitting a four at long-off off Tiwary, but he failed to last long as he was declared LBW in another attempt to sweep left-arm spinner Soumya Pandey.

Rafe McMillan was also out soon after, with the Australian score reduced to 187 for six, but Oliver Peak (46 not out from 43 balls) and Charlie Anderson (13) added valuable 34 runs for the seventh wicket.

Limbani, who appeared to be struggling with his hamstring in the latter stages of his spell, returned to dismiss Anderson but the Australians still managed to reach a healthy total as they scored 66 runs in the last 10 overs.

(With inputs from PTI)

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