Manjot Kalra announced his arrival in world cricket on Saturday with a high-quality hundred in the final of the ICC U-19 World Cup against Australia. The opener got to the three-figure mark in 101 balls, with his knock comprising eight fours and three sixes. Chasing 217 to secure a historic fourth title, Kalra led India's charge with a fluent knock. The left-hander stitched together a 71-run opening stand with captain Prithvi Shaw, who was dismissed for 29 by Will Sutherland. Kalra and in-form Shubman Gill then put on 60 runs before the latter was cleaned up by Param Uppal. The Delhi batsman remained unbeaten on 101 as India chased down Australia's total in 38.5 overs with 8 wickets in hand.
Karla started off the tournament with a 86-run knock against Australia. After a couple of poor scores, he hit form against Pakistan in the semi-final scoring 47 runs.
Last month, the 19-year-old was picked up by Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League Player Auction at his base price of Rs 20 lakh.
Earlier, Rahul Dravid's boys rode on a disciplined bowling effort to restrict Australia to a modest total.
Jonathan Merlo top-scored for the Australians with a steady 102-ball 76, laced with six boundaries even as the Indian bowlers complemented each other well to bundle out the opposition in 47.2 overs.
Electing to bat after winning the toss, the Australians lost their three top batsmen with just 59 runs on the board, thanks to pacer Ishan Porel's twin strikes early on.
Porel's victims included openers Max Bryant (14) and Jack Edwards (28), before Kamlesh Nagarkoti joined the party by removing skipper Jason Sangha for an unlucky 13 off 24 balls.
Thereafter, Merlo and Param Uppal (34) steadied the team with a 75-run fourth wicket stand which saw them going past the 100-run mark, before left-arm spinner Anukul Roy ended Uppal's 58-ball stay with a brilliant catch in his own follow through.
Tottering at 134/4, Merlo was joined in by Nathan McSweeney (23), who added 49 runs for the fifth wicket before meeting the same fate as Uppal, this time caught and bowled by the other spinner Shiva Singh.
Despite losing his partners at the other end, Merlo continued to torment the Indians, raising his maiden half century off 60 balls by chopping a slower delivery from Porel for a single to sweeper cover.
Merlo, however succumbed under the pressure of scoring quick runs, when he attempted a reverse sweep off Roy only to manage a top-edge for Shiva to grab at sweeper cover, even as Australia's hopes dashed after losing the last five wickets for just 33 runs.
For India, Ishan Porel, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shiva Singh and Anukul Roy took two wickets each while Shivam Mavi grabbed one.
(With inputs from IANS)