NEW DELHI: India skipper Uday Saharan on Tuesday said securing victory in a closely contested match against South Africa in the semis will benefit his team heading into the ICC U19 World Cup title showdown on Sunday.
Despite India’s previous smooth progress in the tournament, Saharan and co. were involved in a tight encounter with the hosts, demanding a determined overall effort in the two-wicket win.
India will now face either Pakistan or Australia in the summit clash.
“It is a great feeling to reach the final. We got a taste of close games, and that will be good in the final. We don’t let the morale get low in the dressing room at all — our environment and coaches are superb,” Saharan, who was later adjudged man of the match, told the host broadcaster.
Saharan (81) and Sachin Dhas (96) shared a brilliant 171-run alliance for the fifth wicket to rescue India from a precarious 32 for four while chasing 245.
The elegant right-hander said they were not under pressure at any point.
“Yes, we were well behind at one point. But we kept saying that we have to bat till the end. It was a matter of one partnership,” he added.
Saharan said the pitch became easier to bat during India’s innings.
“When I walked in to bat, the ball was nipping a bit, and there was a good bounce. But later it (ball) started coming onto the bat better,” he noted.
South African captain Juan James admitted that they struggled to break the partnership between Dhas and Saharan.
“When they were batting, when we had them four down, Uday and Sachin batted really well. That’s something we’ve struggled with the whole tournament (breaking partnerships). But we never gave up,” said James.
(With inputs from PTI)

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