The 2018 edition of the ICC U19 World Cup is now over with early tournament favourites India emerging as U19 champions of the world. Riding on a brilliant century by opener Manjot Kalra, the Prithvi Shaw-led India beat Australia in the final of the showpiece cricket event and took home a record fourth trophy, making them the most successful team in the history of ICC U19 World Cup.
The U19 World Cup in New Zealand witnessed some fine bowling performances throughout the course of the tournament, with both fast bowlers and spinners showcasing great skill and bowling match-winning spells for their respective teams.
Here, we take a look at the top five wicket-takers at the just concluded ICC U19 World Cup:
1. Anukul Roy (India U19) – 14 wickets
The 19-year-old Anukul Roy idolises Ravindra Jadeja and bowled game-changing overs of left-arm orthodox spin for the Indian colts at the U19 World Cup on what can be termed as rather unresponsive pitches in New Zealand, much like his idol who does the job for Team India in the Test arena. With 14 wickets in 6 matches, Anukul Roy ended the tournament with the joint highest wickets, and became the first ever Indian to do so.
2. Qais Ahmad (Afghanistan U19) – 14 wickets
Afghanistan’s dream run to the semi-final of the U19 World Cup was largely facilitated by the leg-spin bowling of Qais Ahmad in the middle-overs, where he picked up wickets at regular intervals and often derailed the flow of runs for opposition teams. The 17-year-old spinner picked up 14 wickets in just 5 matches, ending up with the 3rd highest wickets in the cricket tournament, including a spell of 4/33 against hosts New Zealand in their quarter-final clash.
3. Faisal Jamkhandi (Canada U19) – 14 wickets
Another prominent wicket-taker from a not so prominent cricket playing nation. Canada’s Faisal Jamkhandi also emerged as the joint-highest wicket-taker at the U19 World Cup and picked up 14 wickets in 6 games, ending up with the 3rd highest wickets in the cricket tournament. The 18-year-old right-arm medium pace bowler picked up an eye-catching 5-wicket haul in his team’s tournament opener against Bangladesh last month.
4. Rachin Ravindra (New Zealand U19) – 13 wickets
After India’s Anukul Roy, New Zealand’s Rachin Ravindra is another slow left-arm orthodox spin bowler who ended up on the list of highest wicket-takers at the U19 World Cup. Young Ravindra was particularly useful to his captain in the middle-overs where his left-arm spin yielded results of 13 wickets in 6 matches, ending up with the 4th highest wickets in the cricket tournament. Other than his feats with the bowl, Ravindra also scored a century against Kenya in the tournament.
5. Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan U19) – 12 wickets
The 17-year-old left-arm bowler from Pakistan bowled one of the most impressive spells of the tournament when he picked up 6 wickets for a mere 15 runs against Ireland last month. Shaheen Afridi picked up a total of 12 wickets in 5 matches at the U19 World Cup and was a driving force behind Pakistan’s run to the semi-finals, where they went down to eventual champions India, but Shaheen ended up with the 5th highest wickets in the cricket tournament.