The Indian batsmen faltered when it mattered most as the three-time champions were bowled out for 145 by the West Indies in the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup final here on Sunday.
The same batsmen, who helped India stay unbeaten earlier in the competition, failed to apply themselves in the big game after they were put in to bat by the West Indies on a green top and were sent packing in 45.1 overs.
Sarfaraz Khan (51 off 89) was the lone exception as he saved India the embarrassment of being bowled out for a sub – 100 total with a fifth fifty plus score in six innings, also making him only one to score most half centuries (7) in the history of the tournament.
While the Indian batting flattered to deceive, the West Indies bowlers did well to exploit the conditions. Alzarri Joseph (3/39) ran through top order before Ryan John (3/38) landed crucial blows for his team.
Chemar Holder kept things tight to maintain pressure on the Indian batsmen, conceding only 20 runs in 10 overs with a timely wicket of Mahipal Lomror.
India, aiming for an unprecedented fourth title, lost their top three for 27 runs, all falling to Joseph. Rishabh Pant was stumped in an unusual manner with West Indian keeper Tevin Imlach showing presence of mind to fox the Indian opener, who was standing out of his crease while leaving an away going delivery.
Anmolpreet Singh, who scored a gritty fifty in the semifinals, edged a sharp one to the wicket-keeper. And soon after, captain Ishan Kishan was gone too, ending his disappointing run in the tournament where he ended with a solitary fifty in six innings. However, he was out leg before wicket to a ball that appeared to pitch outside the leg-stump.
The fall of Armaan Jaffer made it 50 for five and after that began the innings repair exercise by Sarfaraz and Lomror (19 off 43), who added 37 runs for the sixth wicket.
India badly needed another decent partnership to put up a respectable total but that did not happen as Sarfaraz kept running out of partners until he missed a crossed batted shot to be caught plumb in front, leaving his team at 120 for eight.
His 89-ball effort comprised five fours and a six.
The tail did not contribute much but it was not expected to after an ordinary batting effort earlier in the innings.