India and Pakistan’s Under-19 teams are making a habit out of taking their games close, very close. Following Pakistan’s one-run victory over India in the Under-19 Asia Cup group-stage match in July, and the tournament’s tied final between the two teams, India pulled off a heart-stopping one-wicket victory in Townsville, to seal their place in the semi-finals of the Under-19 World Cup.
The game should never have been close, but India repeatedly allowed Pakistan to claw their way back. After having Pakistan 98 for 8, India let the tail wag for a bit. Then, after a nightmare start to the chase - India were reduced to 8 for 3 - Baba Aparajith and Vijay Zol had steadied their position in the game, only for a silly run out to end their 66-run stand. Thereafter, Pakistan knocked wickets over in a flurry; with India still needing ten to win when the ninth wicket fell, Pakistan looked to have edged ahead. Instead of attacking though, Pakistan kept the field spread and India’s Harmeet Singh and Sandeep Sharma chipped away at the runs. The field was finally brought up with India needing two to win, and Harmeet took advantage to close out the game, swinging over the infield to deep square leg.
A tie would have seen Pakistan through - they would have progressed, courtesy their better results in the group stage of the tournament - but India’s bowlers, in with bat and ball, made sure it was not to be. (ESPNcricinfo)