Rather surprisingly, lower order brace took the center stage in the arch rival encounter at today’s U19 cricket world cup quarter finals.
The match between these two neighborhoods has lived upto their expectation today, as it always the case. A lower scoring thriller is what on the cards at Townsville today in the U19 world cup. Winning the toss and surprisingly deciding to bat first, Pakistan U19 did no justice. Sandeep Sharma immediately put India U19 on top by removing Sami Aslam in 1st ball and Imam-ul-Haq in 5th ball of the 1st over itself. It was a dream start for India U19 but Pakistan U19 captain Babar Azam and Umar Waheed pulled things back with a determined 55 runs 3rd wicket partnership. Ravikant Singh destroyed the growing hopes for Pakistan U19 by getting 3 wickets in quick succession.
India finally nailed Pakistan captain Babar Azam for 50 runs (109 balls) and had Pakistan in mat at 98/8 but a little rain break halted further progression. When the match resumed, Ehsan Adil began his special day in style. Four big sixers in his knock of 35 t0ok Pakistan U19 to fighting total of 136. For India U19, Sandeep Shara and Ravikant Singh took 3 wickets each with Kamal Passi, Aparajith, Harmeet Singh and Nath chipping in with a wicket.
India U19 batsmen’s began the run chase poorly by losing three wickets for just 8 runs. Unmukt Chand slashed a wide on, Prashant Chopra played away from his body and Vihari poked one away. Ehsan Adil backed up his batting contribution with a brilliant catch off Chand and Chopra wicket in very next ball. Aparajith then played his innings of the tournament so far, as he and Vijay Zol forged an invaluable 66 runs partnership. But the suicidal run from Zol, not only bought him down but also India’s chances. Nath then followed him soon to add more tension in this low scoring game.
Aparajith continued his solid innings at other end and reached a well deserved half century. But a brilliant catch from Umar Waheed to dismiss Aparajith for 51 at the beginning of batting power play marked a super phase of play for Pakistan U19 where they dismissed 4 wickets by giving away just 7 runs. With just a wicket left and no regular batsmen in the crease, India U19 still needed 10 more runs to win. But thankfuly Pakistan trio of front line seamers Azizullah, Ehsan Adil and Zia-ul-Haq completed their bowling quota, and make life little easy for Harmeet and Sandeep. Harmeet Singh attacked almost every ball he face but that proved to be decisive for getting the remaining 10 runs with Sandeep Sharma blocking everything.
After 20 nerve minutes , Harmeet Singh hit the winning run, much to the joyousness of India and the despair of Pakistan players in a match where both teams gave their best on the field. Baba Aparajith got the man of the match for his all-round contributions (50 runs, 1 wicket and 4 catches).
In the 2nd semi final on August 23rd, IndiaU19 will meet New Zealand U19, who hit 18 runs on the final over of the match to win the another thriller today against West Indies. Both India U19 and New Zealand U19 will be high on confidence since they defeated comparatively a better team in the tournament so far. So, expect close contest between these two teams for the place in final.
Tags: Baba Aparajith, Cricket, Harmeet Singh, India beat Pakistan in the U19 world cup, India into U19 cricket world cup semi final, India U19 qualifies for semi final, India vs New Zealand in the U19 world cup, India vs Pakistan, Ravikant Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Sports, U19 cricket world cup, U19 world cup 2012 at Australia, Unmukt Chand, VIjay Zol