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Rediff.com  » Cricket » India's Road To 5th World U19 Final!

India's Road To 5th World U19 Final!

By REDIFF CRICKET
February 07, 2024 10:22 IST
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Team India

IMAGE: India clinched a hard-fought two wicket triumph in the U-19 World Cup semi-final against South Africa. Photograph: ICC/X
 

Powered by stellar half-centuries from Sachin Dhas and a masterful innings by Captain Uday Saharan, defending champions India displayed true grit to conquer South Africa by a slender two wicket margin, securing their passage into the ICC Under-19 World Cup final.

As the five-time champions gear up for the ultimate showdown on Sunday, the cricketing world eagerly awaits to witness if India will bring home yet another title.

India's journey to their 5th consecutive U19 ICC World Cup final has been nothing short of sensational.

Match 1 vs Bangladesh

Musheer Khan

IMAGE: the Indian players celebrate a Bangladesh wicket as they win by 84 runs. Photograph: ICC/X

Left-arm spinners Saumy Kumar Pandey and Musheer Khan headlined a dominant Indian performance as the champions outclassed Bangladesh by 84 runs in their opening game of the ICC U-19 World Cup in Bloemfontein.

While 251 for 7 didn't look big, the Indian spinners choked the run flow, shooting out the 'Tiger Cubs' for a meagre 167 in 45.5 overs.

Match 2 vs Ireland

Musheer Khan

IMAGE: Musheer Khan hit 118 off just 106 balls. Photograph: ICC/X

Musheer Khan gave ample display of his immense talent with a superb hundred as India steam-rolled minnows Ireland by a whopping 201 runs to virtually qualify for the Super Six round of the ICC U-19 World Cup in Bloemfontein.

Courtesy Musheer's blitzkrieg -- 118 off 106 balls, India posted an imposing 301 for 7 against Ireland, which in any case, would have been an uphill challenge to surpass.

In the end, Ireland managed a paltry 100 in 29.4 overs with medium pacer Naman Tiwari (4/53 in 10 overs) and left-arm spinner Saumy Kumar Pandey (3/21 in 9 overs) doing the bulk of the damage. Seven Irish batters failed to reach double figures.

Match 3 vs USA

Arshin Kulkarni

IMAGE: Player-of-the-Match Arshin Kulkarni struck a century as India cruised to a comfortable win over the USA. Photograph: BCCI/X

Arshin Kulkarni slammed a stroke-filled century before Naman Tiwari grabbed four wickets as India recorded a 201 run win over the USA in their final group game of the U-19 World Cup in Bloemfontein.

Left-handed opener Arshin (108) starred with the bat with number three Musheer Khan (73) playing the perfect second fiddle as India piled on a mammoth 326 for five after being asked to bat.

The bowlers, led by pacer Tiwari (4/20), then perfectly complemented the Indian batting unit, stopping the USA to a paltry 125 for 8 in 50 overs.

Super Six vs New Zealand

Musheer Khan

IMAGE: Musheer Khan celebrates his century against New Zealand during the U-19 World Cup Super Six game. Photograph: ICC/X

Musheer Khan's superlative showing continued as his second hundred trampled New Zealand by 214 runs in a Super Six encounter at the Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein.

After Musheer's 131 backed by opener Adarsh Singh's 52 powered India to 295/8, spinner Saumy Kumar Pandey (4/19) and pacer Raj Limbani (2/17) ripped apart New Zealand's top order to bowl them out for a mere 81 in 28.1 overs.

Super Six vs Nepal

Uday Saharan

IMAGE: Uday Saharan (100, 107 balls) anchored the innings.Photograph: ICC/X

Sachin Dhas and Skipper Uday Saharan were the twin pillars on which India built their commanding 132 run win over Nepal in their final Super Six Group 1 match, which also carried them to the semifinals.

Dhas (116, 101 balls) and Saharan (100, 107 balls), who added 215 off 202 balls, lifted India from a tricky 62/3 to a formidable 297/5 after they opted to bat first.

The tournament favourites then limited the Himalayan nation to 165 for nine and marched into the semis.

Semi-final vs South Africa

Sachin Dhas

IMAGE: Sachin Dhas bats during the U-19 World Cup semi-final against South Africa. Photograph: ICC/X

Fuelled by splendid fifties by Sachin Dhas and Captain Uday Saharan, defending champions India battled past South Africa by two wickets to storm into the final, their fifth consecutive, of the ICC Under-19 World Cup in Benoni.

Dhas smashed a brilliant 96 from 95 balls, hitting 11 fours and a six, while Saharan stroked a solid 81 from 124 balls to bring India back into the contest after a horror start. The duo put on a match-winning partnership of 171 runs for the fifth wicket as India hunted down the target of 245 with just seven balls to spare.

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