Sachin Dhas and captain Uday Saharan made key contributions as India beat South Africa in the semi-final of the ongoing ICC U-19 World Cup in Benoni on February 6, Tuesday. India will take on either Australia or Pakistan in the final scheduled to be held on February 11.
South Africa’s pace attack reduced India to 32/4 during the 245-run chase. However, it was Dhas (96) and Saharan (81) who steadied the innings and helped India chase down the target with seven balls to spare. Following the match, Dhas stated that the duo never lost belief after losing a couple of wickets earlier and had a plan to bat till the end.
“The plan was to bat till the end. We had the belief that we could take it all the way. But it’s fine (as we couldn’t complete the chase), but we won that match and that’s what matters. I was telling Uday that we would play till the end,” Sachin was quoted as saying by News18.
“We thought we would take our time, pace our innings, and understand the opposition bowling attack. Always the conversation between us was to bat as long as possible so that we could manoeuvre the game. South Africa were bowling well. So it was a bit tough. But Uday and I had to believe, and we thought that one big partnership could win us the game.”
While asked about the tri-series in South Africa before the 50-over World Cup, Dhas stated that it helped them in plenty of ways. The 19-year-old went on to say that they got good practice which helped them to understand the pitch very well. He then took a moment to express his gratitude to Saharan for his encouragement throughout the game.
“That tournament (in South Africa before World Cup) helped us a lot. We got used to the pitch, the weather and the conditions here. We got good practice, we bonded well. Our batters showed good form, so that series really helped. Uday has also batted well throughout the tournament. Also, he backed me throughout our partnership, he kept on encouraging that we have to do it and that we can do it. So all credit goes to Uday,” Dhas added.
He further stated they will reflect their performance in the 2022 edition, where India won the title after a four-wicket win over England.
“Last time too, we were the champions and we will try to play good cricket and win the tournament. The belief in the team is very strong. It’s not about making a statement. But I feel teams by now must have known that we can do well both while batting first and while chasing,” Dhas concluded.