Kaula Lumpur, Mar 2: India regained the Under-19 cricket World Cup crown after eight years after a thrilling 12-run victory over South Africa in a rain-affected final in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.
This is India's second triumph in the tournament's history, having captured the crown in 2000 in Sri Lanka.
The triumph also exorcised the memories of the last edition when India went down to Pakistan in a low-scoring final.
Having been bowled out for 159 after being put in to bat, the Indian bowlers came to the party and restricted the Proteas to 103 for eight in 25 overs after the target was adjusted to 116 because of the rain delay.
There were scenes of jubilation as the players and coaching staff, including coach Dav Whatmore, celebrated and embraced each other.
Man-of-the-match Ajitesh Argal was the bowler who brought India back in the game by taking two early wickets. But after his quota was reduced to five overs due to the rain break, Ravinder Jadeja (2-25) and Siddarth Kaul (2-26) played their roles to perfection to keep the South African batsmen in check.
Reeza Hendricks (35) and Wayne Parnell (29) were the main scorers for the Proteas but they were never allowed to break free from the tight leash which the Indians kept them.
Chasing 160 for victory, South Africa were 17 for three in 8.4 overs when rain interrupted proceedings at the Kinrara Oval.
R Henricks was batting on 7 while J Vandiar, the other batsman on crease, was yet to open his account when rain intervened.
Earlier, India's batting succumbed to disciplined South African bowling and agile fielding as the team was dismissed for just 159.
Put in to bat, India lost wickets at regular intervals and were bowled out in just 45.4 overs.
They now need a special effort in the field to claim the crown.
Tanmay Srivastava was the highest scorer, making 46 (74 balls, 4x4, 1x6) but there were hardly any other significant contributors as the Proteas had a stranglehold on the proceedings.
Strike bowler Wayne Parnell was the most impressive, claiming two wickets conceding only 21 runs. Matthew Arnold and Roy Adams also scalped two victims apiece.
India were on the backfoot straightaway after losing Taruwar Kohli (1) with the team score at three.
The control that the South Africans exercised is evident from the fact that the three runs had accrued till the fifth over.
There were hardly any significant partnerships thereafter and the biggest partnership was worth only 47, between Srivastava and skipper Virat Kohli (19).
But after that stand, wickets kept falling and the South African fielders kept them under pressure and affected two run-outs.
Saurabh Tiwary and Manish Pandey tried to revive the innings after the initial setbacks, but the South Africans never let the Indians get away.
Wicketkeeper George Barnes was at his best, claiming three catches and affecting a run-out.