- India’s title defense at the Under-19 World Cup faces a stern test from South Africa
- Captain Uday Saharan and Sachin Dhas rescue India with a record fifth-wicket partnership
- India now awaits the winner of the Pakistan vs. Australia semi-final
India’s Under-19 cricket team faced their toughest challenge yet in the semi-final clash against hosts South Africa in Benoni. The defending champions were put to the test as they chased a target for the first time in the tournament. With the game hanging in the balance at 32 for 4, it was the partnership between Uday Saharan and Sachin Dhas that turned the tide in India’s favor.
A Record Partnership Saves India
India’s top order struggled against South Africa’s fiery pace attack, leaving them in a precarious position. However, Saharan and Dhas displayed remarkable composure and resilience, forming a game-changing 171-run partnership. Their partnership is now the highest fifth-wicket stand in men’s Under-19 World Cups, propelling India to victory.
Late Drama and Nerves
Despite the record partnership, India experienced late jitters as Dhas, Aravelly Avanish, and Murugan Abhishek fell quickly. With three wickets in hand and 18 runs needed off 16 balls, the match hung in the balance. It was then that Raj Limbani, who had earlier made significant contributions with the ball, smashed a six off his first delivery to bring India closer to victory.
Heartbreak for Saharan
Uday Saharan almost saw India over the finish line, but a run-out left him devastated. Saharan’s slow walk back to the pavilion reflected his disappointment at not being able to complete the job. However, Limbani, with nerves of steel, struck a boundary off the penultimate ball to secure a thrilling victory for India.
South Africa’s Missed Opportunities
South Africa will be left wondering how they let India escape after a brilliant start with the ball. Kwena Maphaka and Tristan Luus wreaked havoc on India’s top order, but their efforts were not enough to seal the victory. South Africa’s lower middle order also struggled to maintain momentum, allowing India’s spin duo of Limbani and Musheer to dictate terms.
India’s Under-19 team showcased their resilience and determination in a thrilling semi-final clash against South Africa. The record-breaking partnership between Saharan and Dhas turned the game in India’s favor, securing their place in the final for the fifth consecutive time. As they await the winner of the upcoming semi-final between Pakistan and Australia, India’s young cricketers have once again proven their mettle on the international stage.
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