Indian captain Uday Saharan‘s composed 81 guided his team to the brink of victory, before being run out with the scores level, Raj Limbani’s decisive boundary off the next ball sealed the win for them.
Saharan and Sachin Dhas (96) were instrumental in rescuing India from a precarious 32 for four, forging a crucial 171-run partnership for the fifth wicket, after South Africa posted 244 for seven.
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Reflecting on their partnership, Saharan emphasized the importance of taking the game deep, showcasing resilience under pressure.
The star left-arm fast bowler Kwena Maphaka, South Africa’s leading wicket-taker in the tournament, posed a threat, dismissing Dhas and Avanish Aravelly in his final spell. However, with 19 runs needed and three overs remaining, both Cats and Tristan Luus had completed their allocated overs.
Despite the valiant efforts of Maphaka (3/32) and Luus (3/37), South Africa’s other bowlers failed to make an impact, allowing India to secure victory in a closely contested match.
The semi-final marked the first instance of India being tested in the tournament, having won their previous matches by wide margins.
Team India now awaits the winner of the second semi-final between Pakistan and Australia, with the final scheduled for Sunday at Willowmoore Park.
As the pursuit of a record-extending sixth U19 World Cup title continues, India’s triumph serves as a testament to their grit and determination on the global stage.
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(With inputs from AFP)