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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 and NZ bank on momentum

New Zealand and India enter Thursday's ICC U19 Cricket World Cup semi-final on the back of thrilling victories.

India and NZ bank on momentum - Cricket News
 
New Zealand and India enter Thursday's ICC U19 Cricket World Cup semi-final on the back of thrilling victories.
New Zealand blasted 80 runs from the last 48 deliveries - including 18 off the final over – in an unbelievable quarter-final run-chase against West Indies.
All-rounder Ish Sodhi was the hero, hitting a last-ball boundary to book his side's spot in the final four of the tournament.
India also won a tight one, edging Pakistan by just one wicket in their quarter-final as they limped over the line in a chase of 137.
Both countries have proven they can lift when it matters most and have earned their place in the semi-finals of the competition.
New Zealand began the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in Group B, alongside Pakistan, Scotland and Afghanistan.
They were expected to progress into the final eight and did, winning two of their three matches, although an eight-run victory over Afghanistan suggested they had room for improvement.
Robert O'Donnell (190 runs) and Will Young (144 runs) have been New Zealand's most consistent batsmen while seamers Matthew Quinn (eight wickets) and Jacob Duffy (seven wickets) have impressed with the ball.
And although they are aware of the quality their opponents possess, the Kiwis – who beat India by six wickets in a match between the two sides in April – will take some confidence from that fixture.
"We have played India once and we came out on top in that game," batsman Cam Fletcher said.
"But they are such a top side in the world and we know that on their day, they are going to pull something special out. We've done a lot of planning with our batting and our fielding but India is going to be a challenge."
India have not hit their straps as yet, with Unmukt Chand's side only patchy in Group C, following up a defeat to the West Indies with expected wins against Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea.
A superb bowling performance saw them defeat Pakistan but they have failed to get consistent performances from their batsmen, with Vijay Zol (150 runs) India's highest run-scorer.
They have been much better with the ball though, with Kamal Passi (nine wickets) and Sandeep Sharma (six wickets) leading their attack.
And spinner Harmeet Singh, who hit the winning runs against Pakistan, says his side are excited about the match.
"We are looking forward to playing them," Harmeet said.
"They're quite used to these conditions as well. They were here for the quadrangular series last time (and beat us)."
An exciting semi-final is in store for cricket fans at Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville with Australia waiting for the winners in the showpiece.
 

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