Young India Braves Scare, Reaches Ninth U19 World Cup Final with Thrilling Two-Wicket Win Over South Africa


Benoni, South Africa: Defending champions India booked their place in their ninth consecutive Under-19 Cricket World Cup final with a nerve-wracking two-wicket victory over hosts South Africa in the first semi-final at Willowmoore Park on Tuesday.

Chasing a modest 245 for victory, India’s chase got off to a shaky start as they slumped to 32 for 4 within the first 12 overs. However, a splendid 171-run stand for the fifth wicket between Sachin Dhas (96) and captain Uday Saharan (81) bailed them out and put them on the brink of victory.

Dhas, who missed out on a well-deserved century by just four runs, played a patient and composed innings, while Saharan exhibited excellent leadership with his crucial 81. Despite their dismissals, tail-ender Raj Limbani kept his cool, hitting a six and a four in the penultimate over to seal the win with seven balls to spare.

Earlier, South Africa, put in to bat, posted a decent total of 244 for 7. Lhuan-dre Pretorius top-scored with 76, while captain Ethan John chipped in with 46. The Indian bowlers, led by Ravi Bishnoi’s two wickets, did well to restrict the hosts despite conceding some late boundaries.

India’s victory was far from smooth sailing. The early collapse threatened to derail their chase, but the Dhas-Saharan partnership displayed grit and determination, showcasing the team’s resilience. This win extends India’s remarkable record of reaching the U19 World Cup final in every edition since 2012.

They will now await the winner of the second semi-final between Pakistan and Australia, scheduled for Wednesday, to know their opponent in the final on Sunday. This young Indian team, once again, stands on the cusp of glory, aiming to add another chapter to their illustrious history in the U19 World Cup.

Key stats:

  • India: 249/8 (48.3 overs)
  • South Africa: 244/7 (50 overs)
  • Top Scorers: India – Sachin Dhas (96), Uday Saharan (81); South Africa – Lhuan-dre Pretorius (76), Ethan John (46)
  • Player of the Match: Uday Saharan

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