Skipper Yash Dhull gave a glimpse of his rare talent with a well-paced hundred as powerhouse India reached their fourth consecutive U-19 World Cup final with an emphatic 96-run win over Australia here on Wednesday.
Dhull struck a sublime 110 in as many balls and shared a game- changing 204-run stand with his deputy Shaik Rasheed (94 off 108 balls) to fire India to a formidable 290 for five after opting to bat.
Indian bowlers then performed their roles to perfection to bowl Australia out for 194 in 41.5 overs. Lachlan Shaw’s fine 51 came too late in the day for Australia.
Pacers Rajvardhan Hangargekar (0/26) and Ravi Kumar (2/37) were impressive in the first powerplay before spinners Nishant Sindhu (2/25), Vicky Ostwal (3/42) and Kaushal Tambe (1/32) dominated the opposition in the middle overs.
The professional bowling performance came after a remarkably mature knocks from Dhulll and Rasheed who was unfortunate to miss out on a hundred.
Record four-time champions India face England in the final on Saturday and will be aiming to extend their dominance in the competition.
Dhull became the third Indian captain to hit a hundred in the tournament history after the illustrious Virat Kohli (2008) and the prodigious Unmukt Chand (2012), who also hail from Delhi.
India, the most successful team in tournament history, were hit by COVID-19 at the start of the competition, losing the likes of Dhull and Rasheed for two games but the depth in the squad ensured that they sailed to the knock-outs.
Chasing a record target, Australia lost their in-form opener Teague Wyllie cheaply with Ravi Kumar trapping him in front off his first legitimate ball with a late inswinger into the right-hander.
Campbell Kellaway (30) and Corey Miller (38) forged a fluent 68-run stand before perishing in a space of six balls, leaving Australia at 73 for three.
Left-arm spinner Ostwal took a return catch for his second wicket to make it 119 for six in 30 overs, shutting the door on the opposition.
Dhull was not just impressive with the bat but also his captaincy. He introduced part-time offie Raghuvanshi ahead of left-arm spinners. Raghuvanshi delivered the breakthrough by trapping Miller.
Earlier, India opted to put runs on the board after wining the toss, knowing it wasn’t the easiest of pitches to bat on.