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When Unmukt Chand Led India to U-19 World Cup Win Vs AUS With A Century In Final

image-lsida2uyIndia's U19 Word Cup winning team in 2012 (ICC)

Australia outshone defending champions India by 79 runs to clinch its fourth U-19 World Cup title in a match that unfolded at Willowmoore Park on Sunday. The Australian team, setting a challenging target of 254 runs, put in a robust bowling performance that left the Indian batting order struggling to find its rhythm.

Key contributions came from Mahli Beardman and Raf MacMillan, who together accounted for six wickets, alongside Callum Vidler, who snagged two crucial dismissals, effectively dismantling the Indian chase. Despite valiant efforts from Adarsh Singh (47) and Murugan Abhishek (42), India could only muster 174 runs before being bowled out in 43.5 overs.

Unmukt Chand stood tall against Australia and led India to a win

This victory not only shows Australia's preeminence in youth cricket but also serves as a moment to reflect on past encounters between these two cricketing giants, particularly the U-19 World Cup 2012 final, where the narrative was markedly different.

In that memorable showdown, it was India, led by the prodigious Unmukt Chand, who emerged victorious. Chand's magnificent century, an unbeaten 111 off 130 balls, was a spectacle of skill and determination. His innings, filled with six maximums and seven fours, along with a crucial 130-run partnership with Smit Patel, produced a stunning recovery from 97/4 to chase down Australia's total of 225/8.

Chand's heroics in 2012 not only secured India its third U-19 World Cup title but also saw him finishing as the tournament's leading run-scorer, amassing 246 runs at an average of 49.20. 

His achievement placed him in the esteemed company of captains like Mohammad Kaif (2000), and Virat Kohli (2008), to have won the Under 10 World Cup. Prithvi Shaw (2018), and Yash Dhull (2022) then followed in Chand’s footsteps and led India to U-19 World Cup glory.

Despite his stellar performance in the U-19 arena, Chand's subsequent cricketing journey, particularly in the Indian Premier League (IPL), did not mirror his youth cricket success, ultimately leading him to retire from Indian cricket in 2021 and pursue opportunities in overseas T20 leagues.