Prashant Chopra of India drives down the ground during their ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2012 semi final match against New Zealand at Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville, Australia. PTI photo
In-form opener Prashant Chopra and Baba Aparajith helped India chalk out a nine-run win over New Zealand here Thursday and enter the Under-19 World Cup final for the fourth time.
Chopra struck a patient 52 while Aparajith scored 44 in India’s 209 for nine before a disciplined bowling effort restricted New Zealand to 200 for nine in the second semi-final at the Tony Ireland Stadium.
Sandeep Sharma, Ravikanth Singh and Harmeet Singh picked up two wickets each, ensuring India’s date with defending champions Australia in the final here Sunday.
“Australia would be tough. It is always difficult to beat them. Having said that, we are really excited to be in the final and can't wait for the Sunday's clash,” said India captain Unmukt Chand.
The Kiwis were very much in the hunt till the end, needing 48 off the last 30 balls with five wickets in hand. But their inability to find the big shots on a difficult batting wicket led to their downfall. They failed to replicate their performance against the West Indies in the quarter-final Monday when they pulled off a stunning last-ball victory.
India made the Kiwis' run chase extremely tough with their superiority in the spin department.
Brief scores: India 209 for 9 (Chopra 52, Aprajit 44, Horne 3-28); New Zealand 200 for 9 (Fletcher 53, Harmeet 2-30).