ICC U19 CWC: SF - Ind vs NZ
Townsville, Aug 23: With a thrilling nine-run win over New Zealand, India claimed a berth in the final of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2012. They will now take on defending champions Australia on Sunday, August 26 here.
Defending a modest total, the Indian bowlers struck at regular intervals to keep the Black Caps from building partnerships. Kamal Passi gave India their first breakthrough, with the wicket of Michael Davidson (6). Ben Horne then joined Joe Carter in the middle and the duo added 24 runs, until Harmeet Singh struck to send Horne back. Akshdeep Nath, took a brilliant catch to end the partnership, took another diving catch at point in the next over to dismiss Carter off Ravi Kant Singh. In the following over, NZ skipper Will Young edged Harmeet to first slip to put India in the driver’s seat.
With the loss of three quick wickets, NZ were four down for 63 when Robert O’Donnell (29) and Cam Fletcher came together and attempted to revive the innings. Their 56-run stand ended when O’Donnell hit the ball straight back to Baba Aparajith. With the required run-rate increasing steadily, Connor Neynens was yorked by Ravikant Singh, while Ish Sodhi was sent back by Sandeep Sharma. In his next over, Sharma rattled Fletcher’s stumps to send back the NZ wicketkeeper who had till then had kept his team’s hopes alive.
Needing 37 off 16 balls with two wickets in hand, tailenders Jacob Duffy and Ed Nuttall had an improbable task at hand. However, Nuttal was run out in the penultimate over, while trying to sneak in a single. With 18 required off six balls, Sharma gave away only eight runs off the last over and restricted NZ to 200 for nine.
Earlier, upon opting to bowl first, the New Zealand pacers charged in from the word go, keeping the Indian batters on a tight leash. With Duffy and Nuttall pelting the openers with the short ball, Unmukt Chand and Prashant Chopra painstakingly added 51 for the first wicket, before the India captain was dismissed. Neynens castled Chand for 31, which brought Baba Aparajith to the crease. With the Man-of-the-Match for India in the quarter finals for company, Chopra scored a half century while stitching an 81-run stand with Aparajith. Chopra was then dismissed for 52, courtesy a brilliant diving catch by Will Young off Nuttall, with the score at 132. Later, Aparajith handed a catch to Young off Ish Sodhi to return for 44. And in the next over, Duffy back in the attack claimed the key wicket of Vijay Zol for nought.
Nath then joined Hanuma Vihari at the crease but the duo’s attempt to build a partnership was foiled by Ben Horne. The left-arm spinner claimed Nath, Vihari and Harmeet in three consecutive overs to leave India reeling at 198 for seven. In the following over, Matthew Quinn dealt a double blow, claiming Passi for zero and Ravi Kant Singh for a duck. With India losing three wickets in the space of four deliveries while adding just one run to the total, the score read 199 for nine in the penultimate over. Smit Patel (15*) andSharma (7*) then added 10 runs to take the score to 209 for nine.
Brief scores: India 209/9 in 50 overs (Prashant Chopra 52, B Aparajith 44, Ish Sodhi 3/28, M Quinn 2/36) beat New Zealand 200/9 in 50 overs (C Fletcher 53, J Carter 30, H Singh 2/30, S Sharma 2/36) by 9 runs
Man-of-the-Match: Baba Aparajith for his all-round performance.