Benoni saw the Indian team break the hearts of a million South African fans on Tuesday. Uday Saharan and his boys beat South Africa by two wickets to reach the under-19 World Cup Finals.
The match went down to the wire but the Indian lower order held their nerves. Australia or Pakistan will face in the finals of the tournament. For the home team, it was yet another chance that went a-begging to get home a major tournament.
This is the fifth time Team India will feature in the finals of the Under-19 World Cup. Out of the last four occasions, India has won the tournament twice in 2018 and 2022. Yash Dhull and his side had beaten England in the finals of the last tournament.
India dash South African hopes to reach U-19 World Cup Finale-
Team India needed to score 245 runs to enter the Under-19 World Cup finals. Kwena Maphaka and Tristan Luss decimated the Indian top order. At one stage, India was down in the dumps at 32/4.
Adarsh Singh couldn’t keep the short ball from Maphaka away as he fell for a 1st ball duck. Musheer Khan and Arshin Kulkarni were caught by Juan James in the slips. Both batters fell to the extra pace extracted off the pitch by Tristan Luus. When Priyanshu Moliya was caught behind for 5, it seemed the match was about to end sooner than expected.
Uday Saharan and Sachin Dhas started slowly as the pair started to pick runs slowly. Singles and doubles started to come with ease as the home team fielders felt the pressure. Once they got their eye in Sachin Dhas in particular started hitting boundaries at will.
The 171-runs stand was broken when Maphaka came back into the attack to dismiss Dhas for 96. Aravind Aravelly found the going tough early on but hit a beautiful straight drive to get India back on track.
It was the left-arm pace of Maphaka yet again that unsettled Aravelley as he was out for 10. Fast bowler Raj Limabi changed the with one hit to dent the hopes of the opposition. Needing 17 runs off 14 balls, Limbani hit a huge six and then took two runs to make it 9 off 12.
Uday Saharan then struck a four to make it five off 11 as India was on the brink. With just one run needed, Saharan went for a single but was run out. It was Raj Limbani yet again who rescued India with a four to help India win the game.
Here’s how the fans reacted –
Team Ind stormed into another U-19 World Cup final.#INDvSA— Deepak K (@deepakkumar_dpk) February 6, 2024
Now please bring the trophy boys 🇮🇳#INDvSA— Kohli's Girl (@kingkohliarmy) February 6, 2024
#INDvSA What a fantastic performance by team India 🇮🇳👏👏,outstanding partnership by future superstars dass & captain uday. Both were so effortless & intelligent. I'm glad to watch India in finals..— Dinku (@DK0489) February 6, 2024