Yash Dhull 110, Shaik Rasheed 94 and bowlers take India to fourth straight U-19 World Cup final
Brief Scores: India 290 for 5 (Dhull 110, Rasheed 94, Nisbet 2/41) beat Australia 194 all out (Shaw 51, Ostwal 3/42, Sindhu 2/25, Ravi 2/37) by 96 runs
While the senior Indian team has been disappointing in the 50-over format in the last couple of series, the junior side has emerged victorious on almost every occasion in the mega events.
India U-19 skipper Yash Dhull played a captain's knock and scored a breathtaking century as India reached the final of the ICC U-19 World Cup for the fourth consecutive time. India will now face England in the final of the U-19 World Cup at the Sir Vivian Richard Stadium in North Sound, Antigua on Saturday, February 5.
The 22-yard surface at Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua
The pitch at Coolidge Cricket Ground looked good for batting in the first innings. As we had seen in the last couple of matches played at this venue, chasing had become tough here. The batters enjoyed playing on this surface as the ball came nicely onto the bat.
India Opt To Bat
India captain Yash Dhull won the toss and opted to bat first. The idea was clear - bat first, post a mammoth score on board and restrict the opposition for a minimal score.
Dhull-Rasheed Partnership backbone of India’s innings
The 19-year-old India U-19 captain smashed an excellent century to drive India to a mammoth total of 290 runs in 50 overs. Following his three-digit score, Dhull became only the third Indian skipper after Virat Kohli and Unmukt Chand to score a U-19 World Cup ton.
Dhull's deputy Shaik Rasheed, from the other end held the rope tight as the duo together forged a crucial 204-run partnership after a dismal start by the openers. While Dhull scored 110 runs in as many balls, Rasheed finished the innings at 94 off 108 balls, missing his century by just 6 runs.
Dhull was adjudged the player of the match for his outstanding knock in the semi-final as India won the match by 96 runs.
India's Death Over Batting
Despite losing their two set batters, Team India didn't let the momentum lose as their incoming batters smashed 48 runs off the last 18 balls to drive India to a mammoth total of 290. Dinesh Bana (20* off 4) and Sindhu (12 off 10) smacked 27 runs off the final over. One can argue that it was the final over that took the game away from Australia, putting scoreboard pressure on them.
Kellaway-Miller brief partnership of 68 runs only saving grace for Australia
Chasing the huge target of 291 posted by the Men in Blue, Australia got off to a terrible start as they lost their in-form batter Teague Wyllie who was trapped LBW by Ravi Kumar quite early in their innings.
Following his dismissal, Kellaway (30 off 53) and Miller (38 off 46) looked to put on a partnership but their wickets in quick succession after a 68-run stand saw Australia losing momentum. While Angkrish Raghuvanshi had Miller LBW in the 17th over, Kellaway was caught at short mid-wicket off Vicky Ostwal.
Indian bowlers continue fine form
The duo's dismissal was the start of Australia's batting collapse. They never looked settled after Cooper Connolly's wicket.
Lachlan Shaw (51 off 66), the highest scorer from Australia, however, showed some fightback, but failed to take his side over the finishing line as they were bundled out for just 194 runs.
Indian bowlers have been terrific in the tournament so far. While the pacers - Rajvardhan Hangargekar (0/26) and Ravi Kumar (2/37) - wreaked havoc in the first powerplay, spinners Nishant Sindhu (2/25), Vicky Ostwal (3/42) and Kaushal Tambe (1/32) dominated the opposition in the middle overs.
India will play their fourth consecutive final of ICC U-19 World Cup against England on Saturday. The match is scheduled to be played on February 5 at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua. While India will look to script history in the final by becoming the first team to win five U-19 World Cup titles; England, on the other hand, are looking to lift their second U-19 World Cup trophy.
Here are some of the top twitter reactions from INDvsAUS U19 semi-final: