Antigua: A superb bowling performance by Raj Bawa (5/31) and Ravi Kumar (4/34) helped India bowl out England for 189 despite a fighting fifty by James Rew (95) in the final of the Under-19 World Cup 2022 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, here on Saturday.
At 91-7, England were in deep trouble but Rew and James Sales’ vital partnership for the eighth wicket took England to a competitive total in the summit clash.
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, England were off to a terrible start as they lost Jacob Bethell (2) in the second over of the innings. Bethell played for an in-swing but the ball bowled by Ravi Kumar kept its line and the England opener was trapped plumb in front of the wicket.
Captain Tom Prest, who came to bat first, didn’t trouble the scorers and got out a duck. He was also dismissed by Ravi Kumar, who bowled a short delivery and Prest dragged the ball onto the stumps, leaving England to 18-2 after 3.3 overs.
Thereafter, George Thomas, who was playing counter-attacking shots looking to rebuild England’s innings along with James Rew after two early blows. During the process, Kaushal Tambe dropped a straightforward catch at first slip as Thomas survived and Raj Bawa, the first change bowler, was denied a wicket.
However, the drop didn’t cost India that much as Bawa dismissed dangerous Thomas for 27. Opener Thomas looked to put pressure on Bawa by hitting across the line in the first delivery of the 11th over but he got a leading edge and was caught inside the 30-yard circle.
Continuing his dreamy bowling spell, Raj Bawa soon got rid of Will Luxton and George Bell in two consecutive deliveries of the 13th over as England were 5 down for 47. Things were not looking good for England; it got worse when Bawa picked his fourth wicket of the match, dismissing Rehan Ahmed (10), who edged the ball straight to the slips and Kaushal Tambe made no mistake.
Wickets were falling from one end but James Rew was holding the fort for England amid all the carnage. He along with Alex Horton hit a few much-needed boundaries and stitched a 30-run stand for the seventh wicket before the latter got out to spinner Kaushal Tambe for 10 in the 25th over of the innings.
At 91-7, it looked like England would get bowled out for a lower total but James Rew and James Sales stitched a solid partnership for the 8th wicket.
Rew mixed aggression with caution and found the gaps with ease, scoring his fifty in 79 balls. He was well supported by Sales from the other end as the duo took England to 147/5 after 35 overs. On the other hand, India were looking desperate for a wicket as skipper Yash Dhull made multiple bowling changes.
It was Ravi Kumar, who brought India back into the game by taking two quick wickets in the 44th over. He first got rid of James Rew, who played a fantastic knock of 95, snapping a 93-run stand for the 8th wicket and then removed lower-order batter Thomas Aspinwall for a duck.
Raj Bawa then dismissed Joshua Boyden to take his five-fer as England were bowled out for 189 after 44.5 overs. James Sales remained not out after scoring 34 off 65.
Brief scores: England U19 189 all out in 44.5 overs (James Rew 95, James Sales 34; Raj Bawa 5/31, Ravi Kumar 4/34) vs India.