U19 WC 2024: Uday Saharan, Sachin Dhas Star In 245 Chase vs South Africa As India Reach Record 9th Final

U19 WC 2024: Uday Saharan, Sachin Dhas Star In 245 Chase vs South Africa As India Reach Record 9th Final

Skipper Uday Saharan led from the front with a calm and composed 81 (124 balls), while Sachin Dhas scored 96 to bail India out from being 32/4 in their tricky pursuit of 245.

PTIUpdated: Tuesday, February 06, 2024, 11:39 PM IST
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Sachin Dhas | X

Benoni, February 6: Fuelled by splendid fifties by Sachin Dhas and captain Uday Saharan, defending champions India battled past South Africa by two wickets to storm into the final, their fifth consecutive, of the ICC Under-19 World Cup here on Tuesday.

Dhas (96, 95 balls, 11x4, 1x6) and Saharan (81, 124, 6x4), who were India's guiding forces in the last match against Nepal with a hundred each, garnered 171 runs for the fifth wicket as India hunted down the target of 245 with just 7 balls to spare.

India will face either Australia or Pakistan in the summit clash to be played at this venue on Sunday, searching for their sixth trophy in the marquee event.

But the beginning of India's chase resembled a debris yard, losing four wickets for just 32 runs in the 12th over.

The South African new-ball bowler Kwena Maphaka jolted India in the first ball of their innings, dismissing Adarsh Singh with a nasty climbing delivery that the batter had no choice other than snicking to wicket-keeper Lhuan-dre Pretorious.

His partner Tristan Luus soon joined the fun with the wickets of Musheer Khan, Arshin Kulkarni and Priyanshu Moliya as all three India batters were indecisive outside the off-stump while hanging their bats to dry.

Dhas, Saharan India's Knights in Shining Armour

But the Indians found their saviours in Dhas and Saharan, who dished out innings of vastly contrasting nature and tempo.

Dhas was aggressive despite the situation his team was in, but Saharan was happy to keep his end going.

Dhas' knock was a treatise on playing cross-batted shots as he cracked a six, pulled fours besides those well-placed nudges through the vacant spots on the on-side.

Saharan, on the other hand, was more traditional but was not entirely hesitant to bring out an exquisite drive or rasping cut whenever an opportunity was there for him to do so.

India skipper scales to the top

Dhas reached his fifty in 47 balls, fittingly, with a pull off pacer Riley Norton and Saharan reached his half-century in 88 balls with a cover drive off off-spinner Juan James.

In the process, Saharan also became the highest run-getter in this World Cup with 389 runs.

But these two youngsters showed immense maturity not to squander the start they got; piling runs to keep the pressure squarely on the hosts.

Dhas misses well-deserved hundred

A second hundred in this event was there for Dhas's taking, but Maphaka, the tournament's highest wicket-taker so far, deceived him with a slower ball that Dhas just managed to scoop to David Teeger at covers.

But the breakthrough came a wee bit late as India hung on to squeeze past the line notwithstanding the run out of Saharan when the scores were level.

Bowlers Set the Stage

Earlier, bowlers played a significant part in shaping India's victory, limiting 2014 champions South Africa to 244 for 7 on a pitch that offered them considerable assistance.

SA found fight through wicketkeeper batter Lhuan-dre Pretorious (76, 102 balls) and Richard Seletswane (64, 100 balls) after early blows, but those efforts were not enough to rattle the visitors.

Pretorious-Seletswane stand frustrates India

Pretorious and Seletswane milked 72 runs for the third wicket but they took nearly 22 overs for that.

The South African top-order just could not get going against India pacers Naman Tiwari (1/52) and Raj Limbani (3/60) who found appreciable pace, bounce and carry from the Willowmoore track.

Strike rate issue for hosts

Even when Seletswane and Pretorious were reconstructing the SA innings, they failed to score at a brisk pace, as the run-rate for a large part remained under four.

Left-arm spinners Saumey Pandey and Musheer Khan (2/43) along with off-spinner Priyanshu Moliya shackled the host batters' progress in this phase, bowling a tidy line and length.

Captain Juan James (24 off 19 balls) and Tristan Luus (23 off 12 balls) helped South Africa amass 81 runs off the last 10 overs but that was not enough to stop the Indians.

Brief Scores:

South Africa 244/7 in 50 overs (Lhuan-dre Pretorius 76, Richard Seletswane 64; Raj Limbani 3-60, Musheer Khan 2-43) lost to India 248/8 in 48.5 overs (Sachin Dhas 96, Uday Saharan 81; Kwena Maphaka 3-32, Tristan Luus 3-37) by 2 wickets.

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