Townsville, Aug 23: India defeated New Zealand by 9 runs to make it to the final of the U-19 World Cup for the fourth time, as they restricted their opponents to 200/9.
Amazing bowling performance saw India through as they rip through New Zealand top order as the opponents were reeling at 63/4 after 18 overs.
K Passi gave India the first breakthrough as he dismissed Davidson for 6 in the 10th over, while Harmeet Singh and Ravikant both joined the party as they dimsissed Ben Home (10) and Joe Carter (30) in 16th and 17th over respectively.
After losing four wickets, New Zealand managed to get a 56-run stand (Fletcher and O'Donnell) for the 5th wicket while they managed 36 runs ( Fletcher and Neynens) for the 6th wicket as well but fell short by 9 runs as India made it to the finals for the fourth time.
New Zealand's wicket-keeper Cam Fletcher top scored with 53 (89) as he held the hopes of guiding the team to the finals, but Sandeep Sharma ensured it was India's day as he dismissed Fletcher in the 48th over, which meant New Zealand had to score 37 runs off 16 balls.
India's Harmeet Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Ravikanth Singh all picked 2 wickets each as Passi and Aparajith got a wicket each to restrict New Zealand to 200/9 as India won by 9 runs.
Having asked to bat first, India scored 209/9 in their allotted 50 overs with Prashant Chopra (52), Aparajith (44) and Unmukt Chand (31) playing a vital role to set a target of 210 for the Kiwis.
India has reached the final of U-19 World Cup in 2000, 2006, 2008 and 2012 as they have emerged victorious in 2000 and 2008 as they defeated Sri Lanka and South Africa respectively to lift the Cup, while Pakistan defeated India in 2006 in the final. With India making its fourth appearance in the U-19 final, expectations are soaring high on Unmukt Chand's team as they have the potential to beat Aussies in the final on Sunday.