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India were on top of their game in all the departments against Pakistan as they swatted away the arch-rivals in a one-sided semi-final in Potchefstroom and captain Priyam Garg highlighted that they were used to the bowlers and the openers producing the goods regularly.
The emphatic win on Tuesday puts India one step away from a fifth U-19 World Cup title. India, who are in line to defend their title from 2018, would become the second team to do so after Pakistan in 2004 and 2006.
“We’re happy. It’s one more step towards what we set out to achieve when we started out,” Garg said after the match.
Everyone except for Akash Singh picked wickets for India, and Sushant Mishra returned with the best figures of the lot with 3/28.
“This is the best (bowling) attack of the tournament, because all our fast bowlers hit 140+ consistently, and the spinners hit the right lines and lengths. (Jaiswal and Saxena) This isn’t the first time. They have done this for the past one year. They bond well, and that leads to good running between the wickets and good communication. They play together a lot, and this helps them complement each other,” Garg explained.
Yashasvi Jaiswal, who at the end of the day is the highest run-getter in the tournament so far, finished things off in MS Dhoni-esque style with a huge six that also brought up his century.
“To score a hundred against Pakistan in a World cup semi-final is something I can’t put into words,” an elated Jaiswal said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Jaiswal and Saxena looked solid from the word go in the chase and Pakistan’s bowlers had no answer to their shots and grit.
“We were talking about how we needed to stick at the wicket. They bowled well initially and we wanted to ride that out and we knew we could dominate them after that.”
India’s win today was the first time a 10-wicket win was registered in the knockouts of the U-19 World Cup and Pakistan’s captain Rohail Nazir acknowledged that they were just too good.
“I think they were brilliant in the field, and their batting was exceptional. They took good catches, and took wickets whenever we were looking at getting a partnership going on,” Nazir said.
“You have to learn to be calm in crunch situations. Inshallah, we’ll do well in the third-place match.”
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