India's semi-final heroes reveal key to successful run chase

Uday Saharan and Sachin Dhas kept things simple as they put on a match-winning 171-run partnership that broke the back of South Africa.

India's semi-final heroes at the U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Uday Saharan and Sachin Dhas believe a simple approach while batting helped them stay calm and chase down their victory target against South Africa on Tuesday.

Things looked bleak for the reigning champions when South Africa's potent pace attack reduced India to 32/4 in reply to the Proteas' healthy total of 244/7, but Saharan and Dhas stayed composed to combine for a 171-run stand that helped put their side in sight of victory during the epic Benoni clash.

Uday Saharan and Sachin Dhas re-live thrilling semi-final triumph | U19 CWC 2024

While Dhas (96) fell just short of his century when dismissed in the 43rd over, skipper Saharan (81) was only removed when the scores were tied and India's progression to the final had been finalised as the Asian side pulled off a thrilling two-wicket triumph.

Saharan knew he had to be at the crease at the end of the run chase if India were to prevail and, while he came up short in achieving his goal, the skipper ultimately did enough to ensure victory for his side.

"Both of us were just talking about taking the game as deep as possible," Saharan said after the win.

"If we were standing at the crease then we will leave after finishing the game and all we were talking about was that we have to play until the end.

"It feels great. I haven’t felt this way in a long time. 

"There a different satisfaction in winning such a closely contested game. It’s a great feeling."

India v South Africa | Match Highlights | U19 CWC 2024

India won a thrilling chase by two wickets.

It was the second match in a row that Saharan and Dhas have come together to forge a massive partnership, after the pair put on 215 for the fourth wicket when scoring a century each during India's final Super Six clash against Nepal to ensure they finished on top of their group.

Saharan suggested Dhas' attacking approach that netted 11 fours and one six in the semi-final helped him while at the crease as he was able to play more of an anchor role as South Africa's bevy of quality bowlers began to tire.

"It feels great playing with Sachin. He has a lot of positive intent and it helps me a lot," Saharan admitted.

"He keeps searching for the boundaries and also keeps rotating the strike."

Uday Saharan POTM Highlights | U19 CWC 2024

Uday Saharan played a captain's knock in Benoni

India now await the result of the second semi-final on Thursday before they find out who they will face in Sunday's final, with Pakistan and Australia set to clash on Thursday for a spot in the decider.

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