A spectacular stand between India captain Yash Dhull and 17-year-old sensation Shaik Rasheed was the foundation for a 96-run win over Australia in the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup semi-final.
Here are the big talking points from the game at Coolidge Cricket Ground.
SUPER LEAGUE SEMI-FINAL: India beat Australia by 96 runs
A captain’s knock from the brilliant Dhull
Yash Dhull is a terrific player and he underlined his undoubted class with a quality century to send his team to the U19 World Cup Final.
Dhull’s run-a-ball 110 comes on the back of his 82 against South Africa and 20* in the win over Bangladesh in his previous two appearances at the tournament, and his ton formed part of a match-winning partnership for India.
Dhull and Shaik Rasheed put on 204 runs between them for the third wicket, helping steady the ship after both openers fell cheaply, before accelerating rapidly through the second half of the innings.
The captain’s control was just as impressive as his vast array of shots, and he was unfortunate to be dismissed when a straight drive was flicked onto the stumps to run him out at the non-striker’s end.
Dhull had shown extreme attacking intent the moment he reached his century, smashing the very next ball he faced for an enormous six, and it looked like a poor stroke of luck was the only way the talented India skipper was ever going to be removed.
Rasheed shows talent with stunning knock
One of the few disappointments on the day for India was that number three Shaik Rasheed was unable to join his captain in reaching triple figures.
For Rasheed certainly deserved it after an innings that was almost as fluent as his captain’s.
The acceleration shown by the 17-year-old after reaching his half-century was eye-catching, and he will clearly be a threat to England in the final.
Rasheed looked set to bring up his own ton before his straight drive was flicked onto the stumps at the non-striker’s end to run out his partner. And, perhaps rattled by the dismissal or maybe embracing the need for him to take more scoring risks after the departure of his skipper, Rasheed rashly slapped a catch to point off the very next ball.
The way in which he shook his head in disappointment on leaving the crease suggests that he won’t settle for a match-defining 94 in the semi-finals, and will be targeting another significant contribution at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Saturday.
Late salvo left Australia with too much to do
Australia’s chances of reaching 291 in the run chase looked slim from the moment that star batter Teague Wyllie fell for one run in the second over of the reply.
But the Aussies' hopes of overhauling India’s tally had already been dealt a harsh blow by an explosive conclusion to India’s innings.
After the bowling attack had done well to tie India down early on, with Jack Nisbet particularly tight with an opening six overs that went for just 12 runs, the floodgates opened.
Of India’s total, 108 runs came from the final ten overs, with five of those overs going for double figures.
And any remaining stuffing was knocked out of Australia in a brutal final over of India’s innings.
Nishant Sindhu hooked a four off the first ball of Tom Whitney’s over, before pulling a leg-side delivery for six. But worse was to come for Whitney, with Dinesh Bana smashing two huge maximums either side of an inside edge for four.
An eye-watering 27 runs came off the final over, and although the match didn’t officially finish for a number of hours, it felt over as a contest from that point onward.
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