Mumbai: Riding on an unbeaten century by opener Shubman Gill, India Under-19 hammered England U-19 by seven wickets in the third one-dayer and took a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
Having restricted England colts to 215, India U-19 team achieved the target in the 45th over, losing just three wickets in the process. Gill scored an unbeaten 138 off 157 deliveries that included 17 boundaries and two sixes, while wicketkeeper Harvik Desai hit 50-ball 37 not out to steer the team to victory with an unbroken 115-run stand for the fourth wicket.
India colts had a good start with openers Gill and skipper Himanshu Rana (19) bringing the team 50 in the sixth over. Gill made the home team’s intention clear from the very beginning by hitting three fours in the first over off pacer Aaron Beard and then followed it up with another five boundaries.
Gill along with Rana put on a solid 63 runs for the opening wicket before Delray Rawlins gave the English team their first breakthrough by dismissing the captain, who edged to wicketkeeper Ollie Pope. Rawlins (2/30) then added another wicket to his kitty by trapping Priyam Garg (8) leg before the wicket.
The spin trio of Rawlins, Liam White and skipper Max Holden managed to contain the flow of runs and Salman Khan (11) became the next Indian batsman to fall cheaply. With the hosts reeling at 101 for three, Gill, in the able company of Desai, steadied the boat. The two rotated the strike well and hit the bad balls away. Earlier, opting to bat, England U-19 did not have a good start as openers Harry Brook (12) and Max Holder (8) fell early with the scorecard reading 38 for two.
Indian spinners shared seven wickets between them with leggie Rahul Chahar (4/33) and slow left-arm orthodox bowler Anukul Roy (3/39) destroying the English batting line-up. Apart from dangerman Rawlins, who lived up to his reputation by top scoring with 96 runs, and George Bartlett (55; 6X4, 1X6) none of the other batsmen could make a mark. Rawlins and Bartlett put on a crucial 84-run third wicket stand before the latter’s innings was cut short by Chahar.
Rawlins, centurion of the first match, continued to play his shots that included sweeps, reverse-sweeps, cover drives during his splendid knock of 96 off 106 balls, which was laced with 11 boundaries and two towering sixes. But as England were marching towards a big total, Roy stuck twice, cleaning up Ollie Pope (14) and Will Jacks (0) to leave the team struggling at 171 for 5.
Roy then removed Rawlins, who was caught at short third leg by Ayush Jamwal while trying to reverse sweep. After Rawlins departed, England’s lower middle order collapsed like a pack of cards. From 198 for 6, English side were bowled out for 215. The two teams will now clash on February 6.