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India storms into U-19 world cup finals for the 4th consecutive time

The most successful U-19 team defeated the second most successful U-19 team to enter the finals of the world cup. Continuing the winning streak against the Aussies in U-19 world cups since 1998, the Indians dominated the semi-final clash after the first hour of Aussie domination. With this victory, India reached the finals for the 4 consecutive world cups and have done it for the 8th time in the history of the U-19 World Cup. They did it by winning the semi-final comfortably by 96 runs, which everyone thought would be a thrilling encounter.

Winning the toss, Yash Dhull chose to bat, a decision which was a little surprising looking at the pitch and the previous clash. And Aussie bowlers bowled with great discipline bowling tight lines to ensure the scorecard is not moving much. Both the openers, Raghuwanshi and Harnoor Singh played the new ball cautiously. Their scorecard may say something else, but their patience was the key to facing the great swing from Aussie bowlers successfully. After playing for some time, Salzmann delivered an unplayable delivery dismissing the inform Raghuwanshi. Rasheed along with Harnoor continued to bat well when the latter fell to a short ball and was caught behind.

With 36/2 in around 12+ overs, it looked difficult for India. Looking at what happened in the last match, it seemed like India might just cross over 200+, which might as well be a good score. But captain Yash Dhull and vice-captain Shaik Rasheed had different plans. They hung in there for some time, took their time to settle, and then took quick singles to rotate the strike and keep the scoreboard moving. Any loose ball coming their way was punished by both of them. After a few overs, they started playing their natural game. The amazing late-cuts by Yash Dhull ensured the Aussie spinners never got in their groove.

With only 93/2 in the first 27 overs, both set batters took on the Aussie bowlers. Both of them notched to their fifties in style and then continued the onslaught on Kangaroos. Yash Dhull received thunderous applause after reaching his well deserved hundred, which he missed in the first match. From 93 in 27 overs, they took the team to 241/2 in 44 overs, after which Dhull was dismissed in an unlucky way by the ball hitting nonstrikers stumps touching the bowler's hands. Rasheed too was dismissed on 94, but both had done their job. Some late fireworks by Nishant Sandhu and wicketkeeper Dinesh Bana took India to a mammoth 290. The latter scored 20 off 4 balls.

Australian bowling looked fabulous in the first 15 overs. Also, their fielders did a great job. all the throws by their fielders did hit the stumps. But amidst all the pressure, eventually, it was the Indian duo of Rasheed and Dhull who stitched a mammoth 205 run partnership breaking the Aussie morale. Conwally did use the bowlers well, but the most surprising thing was Nivethan Radhakrishnan was given only 2 overs. If he has been given a chance to bowl more, his ambidextrous bowling might have helped the Aussies.

Aussie batting didn't start well either. In form, Wylie was dismissed by an inswinger bowled by Ravi Kumar. Post that however the duo of Kellaway and Miller did their best to hold on to the crease before both of them were dismissed in consecutive overs. Post that, barring Shaw who scored a half-century, none of the Aussie batters resisted the Indian bowlers. Eventually, Aussie resistance ended at 194. Ostwal scalped 3, Sandhu and Ravi Kumar scalped 2 each, and Raghuwanshi and Tambe took 1 wicket each. All the other bowlers did well to restrict the run rate. Eventually, the combined efforts of team India led them to a huge victory by 96 runs.

Australia did well to reach the semis, but couldn't capitalise yesterday. They are a really good side but have never managed to win a match against India from 1998 in U-19s. Meanwhile, India, continuing their winning streak in the world cup, have notched their 4th consecutive entry into the world cup final. They will be clashing against the English team for the title, who are eager to win their first title after their 1998 world cup victory. With their previous matches at the same venue as the final, English team would have an acclimatisation advantage, but the spirits of Indian boys are higher too. It would be interesting to see the final on 5th February. Let's see if the gets its 5th title, or England gets their 2nd.

Authored By:- Ashwin Jangam ( Cricket Analyst, Host and Entertainer)


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