Under-19 World Cup: India are the first finalist of the ongoing Under-19 World Cup 2024 in South Africa. The Uday Saharan-led side beat Souh Africa U19 by 2 wickets at the Willowmoore Park, Benoni to reach the summit clash of the marquee event. While India U19 got off to a horror start and were reeling at 32/4 after 11.2 overs, chasing 245 to win, a 176-run partnership between captain Saharan and Sachin Dhas led India’s recovery and put India on verge of victory.
While Dhas fell short of a hundred, falling to Kwena Maphaka for 96 off 95, Saharan came back after scoring 81 off 124 with the scores levelled. It was a near-perfect game for the Indian captain who won the toss and elected to field first. His bowlers prove his decision right as they had the opposition under control for much of the innings with the hosts losing 2 wickets inside 10 overs. Even when they stitched partnerships, runs were hard to come by and the Proteas were 163/4 after 40 overs.
Some impetus in the back 10 overs did allow them to reach a competitive total. In the only passage of which in which South Africa completely outplayed India, The Men in Blue lost 4 early wickets with Adarsh Singh getting out first ball of the chase, falling to Maphaka. Then it was all about Tristan Luus’ threatening opening spell as he almost took the match out of India’s control getting rid of Arshin Kulkarni, Musheer Khan and Priyanshu Molia to put India completely on the backfoot before India came back to eventually emerge on top.
Lhuan-dre Pretorius, Richard Seletswane Fifties In Vain
For South Africa, Lhuan-dre Pretorius, Richard Seletswane scored half-centuries. While Pretorius scored 76 off 102, Seletswane amassed 64 off 100 playing a few attacking shots only towards the latter stage of his innings. However, as it turns out their effort that ensured South Africa finish at 244/7 weren’t enough as India clinched a win with 7 balls remaining. Towards the end too, it was a little close for comfort for India as they lost the wickets of Aravelly Avanish and Abhishek and the skipper in quick succession buy they eventually managed to cross the finish line.
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