India, SA, Aus storm into U19 CWC semifinals

Bloemfontein, (UNI) After being rattled early in their innings, which included a sequence of losing two wickets in the space of three balls, India regained control on the back of a fighting stand between skipper Uday Saharan and Sachin Dhas.

A 215-run stand between the duo helped India rebuild and march towards a strong total. This was the highest stand for India at the U19 Cricket World Cup.

Both batsmen hit their centuries, and India finished at 297/5.

Nepal were watchful at the start, and went about their business quietly. However, led by their wily vice-captain, Saumy Pandey, India found a way in.

Raj Limbani, Arshin Kulkarni, and Murugan Abhishek also contributed to the wickets column, as Nepal slipped from 48/0 to 77/7.

Resilient effort from tailenders helped Nepal play out their 50 overs, but India were the comfortable winners in the end.

This win helped them reach the semi-finals of the U19 World Cup 2024. Sachin Dhas was the Player of the Match for his 116.

At Kimberley, the West Indies boys backed their skipper’s call with exceptional work early in the innings. Australia had lost five wickets by 87, including key batters such as Harry Dixon and captain Hugh Weibgen.

A classy knock from Sam Konstas to help Australia get back on their feet. He added 89 along with Raf MacMillan, before the latter was brilliantly caught by Stephan Pascal at point. Konstas’ kept going from his end, and managed a hundred. His efforts helped Australia to 227.

Charlie Anderson initiated magic with the ball, and picked Stephan Pascal and Joshua Dorne before lightning interrupted play. Lightning gave way to rain, extending the disruption.

The match was eventually abandoned, and Australia made it to the semi-finals as the toppers of Group 2.

At Potchefstroom, Kwena Maphaka and Riley Norton shared the 10 wickets between them to secure a big victory for South Africa.

South Africa openers took off in their usual aggressive fashion. However, disciplined Lankans fought back in the field. Backed by two sharp run outs, they snatched the initiative away from South Africa. Lhuan dre-Pretorius departed for 71, after having given the Young Proteas the perfect start.

Back-to-back wickets in the 25th and 26th over, put the hosts in dire straits. It was the tailenders who put the young Proteas innings back on track. Almost 100 runs were added in the last 24 overs, with the innings ending at 232/8. With this, the South Africa bowlers had something to bowl at.

Kwena Maphaka was at his vicious best with the new ball, and ran through the Sri Lanka top-order in no time. His magic continued in the later overs of his opening spell. He got Sri Lanka’s most consistent performer in the tournament, Dinura Kalupahana, on the way to his five-wicket haul.

Blows from Riley Norton helped ease the end of Sri Lanka’s innings. Maphaka returned to finish with six, as Sri Lanka were bowled out in the 24th over.

With this massive win, South Africa ensured a spot in the U19 World Cup semifinals.

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