Uday-Sachin duo propel India to the grand final of the U-19 World Cup
The Indian colts seized the ticket to the grand final of the U-19 World Cup as they edged past South Africa in a thrilling semi-final at Benoni to set up a summit clash between the winner of clash between Australia U19 and Pakistan U19, who will be playing in the other semi.
Winning the toss, India U19 opted to bowl first and Raj Limbani’s double strike set the tone right for the Indian bowlers. He removed Steve Stolk for 14 and followed that up with the prized scalp of David Teeger who departed for a silver duck.
The arrival of Richard Seletswane in the center did stabilize proceedings for the hosts as he paired well alongside Lhuan de Pretorius to set up a 72-run stand for the third wicket.
It was Musheer Khan who got the important breakthrough for India as he claimed de Pretorius for 76 while Oliver Whitehead fell for a well-fought 22 after knitting another important partnership with Richard. Despite Saumy Kumar Pandey striking Dewan Marais early, the South African captain, Juan James looked good for his cameo of 24.
Naman Tiwari got the better Seletswane for 64 while South Africa produced a late lunge through the likes of James and Tristan Luus to propel themselves to 244/7. Raj Limbani was the pick of the bowling lot with figures of 3/60.
For the Indian batters things seemed bleak in the chase as they lost the cream of their batting for a paltry 32 runs. Adarsh Singh fell for a golden duck while Musheer Khan was back in the hut for just four. Arshin Kulkarni couldn’t contribute much either as he fell for 12 while Priyanshu Moliya departed for five.
Tottering at 32/4, captain Uday Saharan and Sachin Dhas came together for a reckoning partnership that saw India outplay South Africa. Saharan (81) and Dhas (96) were the key architects of India’s remarkable advance to the finale despite a late stutter as they lost four wickets in a span of 41 runs but the job was already within reach for the Boys in Blue.
The partnership of 171 runs between Saharan and Sachin for the fifth wicket was the game-changing moment for the Indian colts. Uday won the Player of the Match award for his crucial anchoring knock, helping India to another final in the U19 edition of the World Cup.