India edge out Pakistan, reach semis
After dismissing Pakistan for a paltry 136, India made rough weather of a small target as they were reduced to 127 for nine in 41 overs after being in a comfortable 124 for six at one stage.
It was a nerve-wrecking final 25 minutes as Mumbai lad Harmeet Singh and No. 11 Sandeep Sharma from Punjab held their nerves to eke out a narrow one-wicket win with two overs to spare at the Tony Ireland Stadium.
India will now take on New Zealand in their semifinal on August 23. New Zealand beat West Indies by three wickets in the other quarter-final match.
Credit should also be given to Baba Aparajith (51, 97 balls, 3×4) as his composed batting after initial jitters steadied the ship.
India were tottering at eight for three within the first five overs of their chase but Aprajith along with Vijay Zol (36) added a crucial 66 runs for the fourth wicket to ensure India’s passage into the last four stage.
This was also a sweet revenge for Unmukt Chand and co as Pakistan had convincingly beaten India in the previous two meetings of the under-19 edition in 2006 and 2010.
In conditions conducive for both seam ans swing bowling, Pakistan left arm pacer Zia-ul-Haq troubled the Indian top-order with his brisk pace as he repeatedly got the ball to angle away from the right handers.
Earlier, Sandeep (3/24) and Ravikant Singh (3/43) continued their good show in the tournament as they left Pakistan reeling at 98/8 before Ehsan Adil’s lusty hitting saw Pakistan reach 136.
The delivery of the match was bowled by young Bengal pacer Ravikant who dismissed left-handed Saad Ali. The delivery just pitched outside the off stump and moved in a shade to clip the off bail as the gap between bat and pad was minimal.
ScorecardPakistan:Sami Aslam c Aparajith b Sandeep Sharma 0Babar Azam c Chand b Aparajith 50Imam-ul-Haq c Aparajith b Sandeep Sharma 0Umar Waheed c Patel b Ravikant Singh 27Saad Ali b Ravikant Singh 1Salman Afridi c Patel b Ravikant Singh 0Mohammad Nawaz c Aparajith b Harmeet Singh 0Zafar Gohar c Patel b Passi 8Ehsan Adil c Aparajith b Sandeep Sharma 35Azizullah c Patel b Nath 2Zia-ul-Haq not out 0Extras: (LB-1, W-8, NB-4) 13;Total: (all out in 45.1 overs) 136;Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-0, 3-55, 4-61, 5-61, 6-62, 7-98, 8-98, 9-136;Bowling: Sandeep Sharma 8.1-0-24-3, K Passi 10-1-19-1, Ravikant Singh 10-0-43-3, Harmeet Singh 10-1-20-1, Baba Aparajith 5-0-23-1, U Chand 1 0-6-0, A Nath 1-1-0-1.
India:Prashant Chopra c Salman Afridi b Ehsan Adil 4Unmukt Chand c Ehsan Adil b Zia-ul-Haq 0Baba Aparajith c Umar Waheed b Zia-ul-Haq 51Hanuma Vihari c Saad Ali b Zia-ul-Haq 0Vijay Zol run out 36Akshdeep Nath c Salman Afridi b Azizullah 7Smit Patel c Salman Afridi b Ehsan Adil 14Harmeet Singh not out 13Kamal Passi lbw b Azizullah 0Ravikant Singh b Azizullah 0Sandeep Sharma not out 2Extras: (LB-3, W-7) 10;Total: (9 wickets in 48 overs) 137;Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-7, 3-8, 4-74, 5-84, 6-120, 7-124, 8-125, 9-127;Bowling: Zia-ul-Haq 10-0-23-3, Ehsan Adil 10-2-25-2, Azizullah 10-3-30-3, Umar Waheed 1-0-6-0, Mohammad Nawaz 7-1-27-0, Zafar Gohar 10-1-23-0.
Photograph: Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images