U-19 World Cup 2024 IND vs SA Semifinal Report: India and South Africa produced the most thrilling game of the U-19 World Cup 2024 in the first semi-final of the tournament on Tuesday in Benoni.
A game of plenty of twists and turns on the field and nerves among the fans concluded with India reaching their fifth consecutive men’s under-19 World Cup final and ninth overall. In the final, on Sunday again in Benoni, India will meet the winner of the second semi-final between Australia and Pakistan.
After breezing through the Group A round and the Super Six with five out of five wins, India were given their toughest challenge of the tournament as South African pacers Kwena Maphaka and Tristan Luus, the best pace duo of the competition, reduced the boys in blue to 32/4 in the chase of 245.
However, a record fifth-wicket partnership of 171 runs between captain Uday Saharan and Sachin Dhas resurrected the chase. The Proteas struck with late wickets, but India managed to get over the line.
Saharan won the toss and elected to bowl first. Pacer Raj Limbani gave India a good start with his swing bowling by taking two wickets in his opening spell. Opener Lhuan-dre Pretorius then formed a sizeable stand with Richard Seletswane. The pair added 72 runs but took 133 balls for it as Indian spinners Musheer Khan and Saumy Pandey got a stronghold on the run rate. Pretorius ended with 76 runs in 102 balls and Seletswane managed 64 runs in 100 balls.
South Africa were given a little boost toward the end by captain Juan James (24 off 19) and Tristan Luus (23 off 12) to finish at 244.
U-19 World Cup 2024 IND vs SA Semifinal Report: India stunned early before Saharan and Sachin fightback
In the chase, India were rocked early when Kwena Maphaka, the leading wicket-taker, dismissed Adarsh Singh. From the other end, Tristan Luus made three big dents with the wickets of Musheer Khan, who is the leading run-scorer of the tournament, Arshin Kulkarni, and Priyanshu Moliya, as India were left reeling at 32/4.
While captain Saharan played cautiously and sedately, India’s tottering situation didn’t hold Sachin Dhas from playing his shots, most of which were timed superbly. Dhas, who raised his fifty in 47 balls, played in an enterprising way to collect regular boundaries and not let the pressure build. Saharan, too, joined in with boundaries in the latter part of his innings.
Dhas cruelly fell only four runs short of a century, dismissed by who but Maphaka, and it gave South Africa a sniff, which they caught well to pick a couple of more wickets.
With 17 runs needed in 14 balls, the game hung in balance—maybe even slightly on South Africa’s side—but then Raj Limbani struck a flick-shot six on the first ball that he faced.
Saharan then creamed a cover drive boundary on the first ball of the penultimate over that put India on the brink. And even though the captain got run out, Limbani saw the side home with 7 balls and 2 wickets left, resulting in jubilation in the Indian camp and desolation in the South African contingent. India captain Uday Saharan was named the Man of the Match.
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