Opener Shubman Gill hit a terrific unbeaten century to help India Under-19 take a 2-1 lead in the five-match One-Day International series against England Under-19 with a seven-wicket win. Gill, who failed to convert his starts in the first two matches, went on to score more than 60 percent of his team’s runs in the chase of 216 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Friday (February 3).
Even though skipper Himanshu Rana, Priyam Garg and Salman Khan departed early without making an impact, Gill was at his best at the other end, scoring runs freely.
He was then involved in an unbeaten century stand with Harvik Desai (37* off 50) to steer India home with 35 balls left. Having struck 17 fours and two sixes, Gill was not out on 138 off 157 deliveries.
Allrounder Delray Rawlins fought with both bat and ball for the visitors but his efforts went in vain. Out of the three wickets that fell in the Indian innings, Rawlins picked up two.
Earlier in the day, England opted to bat first after winning the toss and they decided to field three debutants in the game. New ball bowlers Yash Thakur and Heramb Parab struck once each to reduce the visitors to 38 for 2.
With both openers back in the pavilion, England were in desperate need of a partnership and that’s exactly what they got. George Bartlett and Rawlins. Bartlett, who had endured a couple of failures prior to this game, stepped up at an important juncture and added 84 for the third wicket.
Both these batsmen mixed caution with aggression as the runs came at a brisk pace. India found a timely breakthrough via Rahul Chahar. Bartlett, who helped himself to a half-century, was stumped for 55 off 67 deliveries. After his dismissal, it was Rawlins’ turn to step up as the in-form batsman started finding the boundary at regular intervals.
Rawlins had already scored a century in the first game to help England take a lead and then came up with a 46 in the second game at the same venue which ended in a losing cause. He looked well set for another century before losing his wicket to Anukul Roy. The left-arm spinner was the pick of the bowlers for India as he had already gotten rid of Ollie Pope and Will Jacks before prising out Rawlins.
Jacks wasn’t the only debutant to struggle as the others made a dismal start to their under-19 international careers as well. Louis Shaw made a painstaking unbeaten 10 off 36 while Liam Patterson-White was run out for 2. India’s own debutant Ayush Jamwal went wicketless in his ten overs, conceding 50 runs.
But it was England’s mighty collapse that caught the attention as they went from 171 for 3 to 215 all out, losing their last seven wickets for just 44 runs. Chahar cleaned up the tail to finish with four wickets. A monumental collapse from the senior side cost them the T20I series against India a couple of days back and now this could potentially result in something similar for the youth side as well with India now holding the upper hand going into the final two games.
Brief scores: England Under-19 215 (Delray Rawlins 96, George Bartlett 55, Rahul Chahar 4-33, Anukul Roy 3-39) lost to India Under-19 216/3 (Shubman Gill 138*, Harvik Desai 37*; Delray Rawlins 2-30, Liam Patterson-White 1-35) by seven wickets.