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Stars in their eyes, young guns embark on journey of hope - Cricket News
Features and Specials,26 January 2016

Stars in their eyes, young guns embark on journey of hope

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India’s heroes relive win over Pakistan

India hero Harmeet Singh was delighted after he hit the winning runs in his side's thrilling one-wicket triumph over Pakistan at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup on Monday.

India’s heroes relive win over Pakistan - Cricket News
 
India hero Harmeet Singh was delighted after he hit the winning runs in his side's thrilling one-wicket triumph over Pakistan at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup on Monday.
 Harmeet and his team-mates appeared to be cruising to victory in their quarter-final against traditional rivals Pakistan after bowling them out for just 136.
But despite being 120 for five - largely thanks to Baba Aparajith's 51 - India collapsed spectacularly, losing four quick wickets for just seven runs.
That brought tail-ender Sandeep Sharma (two not out) to the crease and he combined with Harmeet (13 not out) for a 10-run partnership that took them seven overs to compile as India crawled over the line with just two overs to spare.
Harmeet, who had played just one other game in the tournament due to illness, sparked wild celebrations with his team-mates when he swatted spinner Mohammad Nawaz (0-28 off eight overs) for two over mid-wicket as they escaped with victory from the jaws of defeat.
 "When I hit it (the winning runs), I knew it was two," Harmeet said.
 "When I ran the first run, I couldn't breathe, couldn't cry, couldn't laugh ... something in between. The emotion was tremendous. Winning any game for India is always a dream.
 "I backed myself out there and I knew Sandy (Sharma) could play. I took it as an occasion that I have to enjoy."
 Harmeet and Sharma both showed terrific composure at the crease during their partnership, with the former explaining that their strategy was to see off Pakistan's quicks before even thinking about victory.
 "Azizullah, the (Pakistan) fast bowler was bowling well and he had just one over (left) when Sandy came in," he said.
 "I decided that I'll play that over. After that there were only spinners (left) and there wasn't much spin there. I guess they also didn't have confidence in their spinners to get us out.
 "We nudged a few around. I had confidence in Sandy. I knew he could stay there and not play a shot for maybe the whole day. I've played with him in Cooch Behar (Indian domestic Under-19 tournament) as well back home.
 "He has got patience, that's why I backed him and took singles again (to rotate the strike) after the fast bowlers had finished."
 India received great vocal support from the small but noisy crowd at Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville and Harmeet paid tribute to the fans after the match.
 "Indians are all around the world. The support they gave us was impeccable, unexpected actually. I've never seen these many Indians here. I've been here last time as well in April but there weren't as many here. It feels like home for us now (with this support)," he said.
 Sharma said his sole objective was to defend and let Harmeet score the required runs, adding that it was a superb feeling to beat Pakistan in such a close finish.
 "I was just focusing on saving my wicket," Sharma said.
 "Harmeet was playing really well. He was telling me to just play with a straight ball as the ball is doing nothing.
 "We have played with each other for about six years, so he is confident in me. I was very happy that we won. Against Pakistan, winning is very special."
 India will now meet New Zealand in the second semi-final on Thursday at Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville.
 

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