India staged a coup to advance to the U19 World Cup final for the fifth consecutive year. India defeated the hosts, South Africa, by a margin of two wickets in a thrilling match. The young team was praised by the Indian cricket community, which included legendary players like Gautam Gambhir and Sourav Ganguly, for their outstanding performance in a major tournament.
Uday Saharan, captain of the India U19 team, won the toss and chose to chase for the first time in the competition. Additionally, it was the first time the team would ultimately concede a score of 200 or more during the U19 World Cup in 2024.
The two most impressive bowlers for India were Raj Lambani (3/60) and Musheer Khan (2/43), as South Africa amassed a target of 245 runs. India’s choice to chase in a knockout match first backfired when opener Adarsh Singh was removed by South Africa’s left-arm pacer Kwena Maphaka with an unplayable delivery on the very first ball.
The next to go were opener Arshin Kulkarni and the highly effective Musheer Khan. India was in danger of missing out on a World Cup final berth after falling to 32/4. But Saharan and Sachin Dhas, who put together a 171-run partnership to help India overcome a poor start, had other ideas. Dhas went for the gold, hitting 11 fours and 1 six on his way to a 95-ball 96. Saharan kept the scoreboard running while remaining composed and calm. An onslaught of extras aided India’s cause as well. After Dhas was dismissed, India lost Abhishek Murugan to a run-out, making the thrilling finale for the reigning champions somewhat shaky.
With an 81-run knock, the captain, leading his team from the front, made sure they would stick around until the very end. Saharan lost out on scoring the winning runs when the scores were tied at 244 because he gave up his wicket to get a quick single. As the game came down to the wire, India pulled off a very suspenseful victory. It was an incredible comeback as the group demonstrated determination and grit to qualify as they qualified for the 9th Final
Gambhir was ecstatic about the way the team performed. Ganguly praised both the South African and Indian teams for their outstanding performances. Jay Shah, the secretary of the BCCI, was pleased with the young guns’ performance.
In the final, which is scheduled for February 11, India will play Australia or Pakistan.