Two-time former champion India defeated New Zealand by nine runs on Thursday in the second semi-final of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2012 to set-up Sunday’s final with defending champion Australia.
Defending just 209 runs in front of ESPN STAR Sports’ HD cameras, India produced an outstanding bowling and fielding performance to restricted New Zealand to 200 for nine in 50 overs. India’s Baba Aparajith was declared player of the match after the youngster followed up his 61-ball 44 with figures of 10-1-29-1.
While India will take on Australia at the Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville in a match to be covered live by ESPN STAR Sports, New Zealand will play South Africa in the third-fourth position play-off on Saturday at Endeavour Park.
On Friday, the Plate Championship final will be played between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka at Allan Border Field in Brisbane and will be watched by ICC President Alan Isaac. In the Super League, West Indies will meet England in the fifth-sixth position play-off while Pakistan will meet Bangladesh in the seventh-eighth position play-off.
Put into bat, India appeared to be starting to peak just at the right time and looked comfortable with the new ball, managing to do what most other teams have failed in at Tony Ireland Stadium – not to lose early wickets.
The New Zealanders were sharp in the field and Captain Will Young, quite possibly took the catch of the tournament, a one-handed dive at mid-wicket to dismiss Prashant Chopra (52, 104b, 5×4, 1×6) who was looking to settle himself at the crease.
The rest of India’s top order contributed well and they looked set to post an ambitious target before left-arm spinner Ben Horne struck with three quick wickets and slowed the India run-rate down.
In reply, New Zealand also looked at ease against the new ball, not losing its first wicket till ninth over.
Harmeet Singh was again dangerous with the ball, taking the wickets of Horne and Young who had previously dominated for the young New Zealanders.
Robert O’Donnell and Cam Fletcher combined for a valuable fifth wicket stand of 54 before the 17-year-old O’Donnell was dismissed caught and bowled by Aparajith.
Fletcher top-scored for New Zealand with 53 and looked the likely to be the hero for the Kiwis before he was bowled by Sandeep Sharma in the 47th over.
It was deja vu for the Kiwis, needing 18 off the last over again but Sharma was too good for the Indians, bowling tight in the last over to see New Zealand fall just short.
Aparajith said he was pleased with his team’s improvement during the tournament.
“We knew that the first game would be really tough as we knew that getting used to the conditions would take a little time. Last time we were in Townsville we lost the first few matches but then we gained momentum.
“It has been really good to play in Australia and adapting to any type of wicket is really good.
“We knew on this ground that 210/220 would be a fighting score and we thought that it would be a very difficult score on this wicket,” he said.
Aparajith said that the team thinks it will do well against Australia in the final.
“They have been fielding and bowling well but if we play to our potential we will do well,” he added.
Nepal’s Rahul Vishvakarma unplayable
Rahul Vishvakarma produced the bowling spell of the tournament when he bowled Nepal to a comfortable six wickets victory over Papua New Guinea in the 13th-14th position play-off.
The 19-year-old left-arm spinner recorded figures of 6.2-4-3-6 which helped Nepal to spin out PNG for 89 in 33.12 overs. In turn, Nepal achieved the target with over 31 overs and six wickets to spare.
Scores in Brief:
India beat New Zealand by nine runs at Tony Ireland Stadium
India 209-9, 50 overs (Prashant Chopra 52, Baba Aparajith 44, Unmukt Chand 31; Ben Horne 3-28, Matthew Quinn 2-36)
New Zealand 200-9, 50 overs (Cam Fletcher 53, Joe Carter 30; Harmeet Singh 2-30, Sandeep Sharma 2-36, Ravikant Singh 2-48)
Player of the match – Baba Aparajith (India)
Plate Championships (Play-offs)
13th/14th position play-off – Nepal beat Papua New Guinea by six wickets at Peter Burge Oval, Brisbane
PNG 89 in 33.1 overs (Rahul Vishvakarma 6.2-4-3-6)
Nepal 90-4, 18.5 overs (Albert Geita 3-25)
Player of the match – Rahul Vishvakarma (Nepal)
15th/16th position play-off –Zimbabwe beat Namibia by 70 runs at WEP Harris Oval, Brisbane
Zimbabwe 236-9, 50 overs (Ryan Burl 78, Matthew Bentley 67, Kevin Kasuza 33; Jason Davidson 3-26, Bredell Wessells 2-38, Chris Coombe 2-65)
Namibia 166, 40.5 overs (Gerhard Erasmus 32, Luke Jongwe 3-29, Peacemore Zimwa 3-47, Wellington Mazakadza 2-26)
Player of the match – Ryan Burl (Zimbabwe)
5th-6th position play-off – England v West Indies, Endeavour Park 1
7th-8th position play-off – Pakistan v Bangladesh, Endeavour Park 2
Final (9th-10th play-off) – Afghanistan v Sri Lanka, Allan Border Field, Brisbane
11th-12th position play-off – Ireland v Scotland, WEP Oval Harris, Brisbane
Third-fourth position play-off – Australia v India, Tony Ireland Stadium