India Secures Fifth Consecutive U19 World Cup Final Spot
In a tense first semi-final against South Africa, Indian captain Uday Saharan won the toss and opted to field, marking a departure from their usual strategy of batting first in the tournament. The home team faced early setbacks, losing Steve Stolk and David Teeger during the powerplay with only 46 runs on the board.
However, Lhuan-dre Pretorius and Richard Seletswane steadied the innings with a partnership of 72 runs before Seletswane’s dismissal in the 31st over. Pretorius emerged as South Africa’s top scorer, contributing 76 runs off 102 balls, including six boundaries and three sixes. Seletswane also played well, scoring 64 runs off 100 balls with four boundaries and two sixes. Tristan Luus provided a quick 23 runs towards the end, and South Africa concluded their innings at 244-7 in 50 overs.
Chasing a target of 245 to secure a spot in the U19 World Cup final, the defending champions faced early challenges, losing four wickets for just 32 runs in 11.2 overs. However, captain Uday Saharan and Sachin Dhas orchestrated a remarkable comeback with a partnership of 171 runs.
Dhas took on the role of the main aggressor, scoring 96 runs off 95 balls with 11 boundaries and a six, falling just short of a century. Saharan played sensibly, contributing 81 runs off 124 balls with six boundaries. In the end, India reached the target with seven balls to spare, scoring 248 runs for the loss of eight wickets.
With this victory, India secures a spot in the U19 World Cup final for the fifth consecutive time. The defending champions will now face either Pakistan or Australia, who will compete in the second semi-final, in the final match on Sunday.