India’s U19 World Cup Journey: A Dream Run to the Final
By Divy Tripathi
Join Crystal Arnold, Ian Bishop, and Abhinav Mukund as they preview the U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Final between India and Australia. India’s consistent performance throughout the tournament has brought them one step away from joining the ranks of U19 World Cup winning teams led by Mohammed Kaif, Virat Kohli, Unmukt Chand, Prithvi Shaw, and Yash Dhull.
India’s success is built on solid performances across all three departments. The top and middle-order have been particularly impressive, with standout performances from Uday Saharan, Musheer Khan, and Sachin Dhas.
India’s fielding has been sharp and consistent, with Abhishek Murugan making some spectacular catches. The bowling department has also been strong, with pacers and spinners alike taking wickets. Raj Limbani and Naman Tiwari have given India perfect starts, which have been capitalised by Saumy Pandey and other spinners.
India’s Road to the Final
Group A, Match 1, v Bangladesh in Bloemfontein
Result: India won by 84 runs
Despite early troubles from Maruf Mridha’s left-arm angle, India managed to lift themselves up thanks to Adarsh Singh (76) and Saharan (64). Bangladesh started positively but faltered against the turn of Saumy Pandey (4/24). Despite a promising stand between Ariful Islam and Mohammad Shihab James, India took the game by 84 runs.
Adarsh Singh’s composed fifty helped India to a match-winning total.
Group A, Match 2, v Ireland in Bloemfontein
Result: India won by 201 runs
Musheer Khan led India’s charge with the first hundred of the competition, adorned with nine fours and four sixes. Saharan played a good supporting act with his 75, while Dhas’ cameo (21* from nine) helped India over 300. Tiwari made up for his erratic display in the first game with a four-wicket haul. Pandey also took a three-wicket haul as India triumphed by 201 runs.
Group A, Match 3, v USA in Bloemfontein
Result: India won by 201 runs
India’s top-order stood tall once more, this time led by Arshin Kulkarni’s 108. Musheer Khan’s 73 and late innings cameos led India to their second successive 300-plus total. Tiwari’s sensational new ball spell put USA’s chase in disarray, but the North American side played out their quota of overs without threatening the India total.
The best of Musheer Khan so far at the U19 World Cup.
Super Six (Group 1), Match 1, v New Zealand in Bloemfontein
Result: India won by 214 runs
After losing Kulkarni early while batting, a strong opening stand between Adarsh and Musheer carried India. Despite losing Adarsh at 105, India kept going for their shots and built towards a strong total. Eventually, Musheer’s brilliant 131, his second century of the tournament, guided them to 295/8. Limbani’s double-wicket over gave India the perfect start. This was capitalised by his partner, Pandey, who finished with splendid figures of 10-2-19-4. New Zealand were bowled out for 81, even as India took a giant step towards securing a place in the semi-finals.
Match highlights of India’s Super Six meeting with Nepal at the U19 Cricket World Cup 2024.
Super Six (Group 1), Match 2, v Nepal in Bloemfontein
Result: India won by 132 runs
India won the toss and elected to bat first against their neighbours. Despite losing two quick wickets in the second Powerplay, India went ahead at a brisk pace on the back of centuries from Saharan and Dhas. Together they added 215 runs, India’s best stand in the history of U19 World Cup cricket. Nepal showed fight with the bat, but Saumy Pandey’s 4/29 ensured that they never got to a stage to make a match out of it. This win helped India top Group 1 of the Super Six, and ensured that they took on the second-placed team from Group 2.
India won a thrilling chase by two wickets.
Semi-final 1, v South Africa in Benoni
Result: India won by two wickets
In a surprising move, India decided to bowl for the first time in the tournament. Despite two early losses, South Africa moved at a positive pace in the first Powerplay. Spinners managed to contain the scoring rate in the middle overs, but late blows helped the hosts finish strong. Lhuan-dre Pretorius (76) and Richard Seletswane (64) stood out with the bat. Kwena Maphaka and Tristan Luus rocked the India top-order, and soon the side were 32/4. It was Saharan and Dhas stopped the slide, and gradually brought the innings back on track. Their 171-run stand, the best-ever for the fifth wicket or below in U19 cricket for India, helped their side close in on South Africa’s ask. Maphaka returned to strike back for the hosts, but India eventually managed to chase the target with two wickets remaining. Saharan was the Player of the Match for his 81.