Champions in 2000, India overcame a mini collapse to beat New Zealand by three wickets in a rain-affected semi-final to enter the final of the Under-19 World Cup cricket here on Wednesday.
Needing 191 to win off 43 overs, following rains soon after the start of their chase, India lost four wickets for 33 runs. They eventually won with nine balls to spare after the target was adjusted as per Duckworth-Lewis method for truncated matches.
India's opponent in the final will be the winner of the Friday semi-final between Pakistan and South Africa.
New Zealand scored 205 for eight in 50 overs, with Corey J. Anderson the top scorer with 70 off just 68 balls (6x4s, 4x6s). Captain Virat Kohli, Siddarth Kaul and Tanmay Srivastava took two wickets each.
India, riding on Shreevats Goswami's 51 (76 balls, 5x4s) - the only half-century of the innings - and Kohli's 43 (53 balls, 5x4s), finished at 191 for seven in 47.1 overs. Fast bowler Tim Southee's four-wicket haul went waste.
Saurabh Tiwary remained unbeaten on 29 and Pradeep Sangwan on five.
Kohli was adjudged the Man of the Match for his all-round performance. He also bowled tightly and took two wickets.
India were cursing along nicely when suddenly the middle order batsmen lost way and four wickets fell at quick intervals, worrying coach Dav Whatmore.
India were coolly placed at 150 for three - thanks largely to an 84-run partnership for the third wicket between Goswami and Virat Kohli - when they collapsed to 183 for seven.
But left-handed Tiwary kept his cool and helped India reach the final for the third time in eight years.
Earlier, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bat.
New Zealand had a disastrous start as they lost their first two wickets cheaply. But a 57-run stand for the third wicket between Williamson and Fraser Colson steadied the ship.
Two other good partnerships helped the Kiwis to put up a fighting total. Tim Southee Corey Anderson raised 47 for the fifth wicket. Anderson and Michael Bracewell added 58 for the seventh wicket.
Most of the seven Indian bowlers performed well though some of them did not get many wickets. Pacer Ajitesh Argal was the most economical as he conceded 13 runs in six overs and took one wicket. Ravindra Jadeja gave away 21 in six overs and bagged one scalp.
India had defeated Sri Lanka in the final to win their first under-19 World Cup in Colombo in 2000. In 2006, India again reached the final but this time they lost to Pakistan, again in Colombo.
New Zealand Under-19 Innings
George Worker c Tiwary b Argal 3
Kane Williamson st Goswami b Kohli 37
Michael Guptill-Bunce b R. Jadeja 11
Fraser Colson b Kohli 32
Tim Southee b Kaul 11
Corey Anderson b Srivastava 70
Greg Morgan lbw b Kaul 1
Michael Bracewell not out 17
Anurag Verma b Srivastava 2
Nicholas Beard not out 1
Extras (b2, lb5, w11, nb 2) 20
TOTAL: 205 for 8
Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-29, 3-86, 4-91, 5-137, 6-139, 7-197, 8-199.
Did not bat: Trent Boult
Bowling: Pradeep Sangwan 7-1-26-0 (2nb), Anurag Argal 6-0-13-1 (1w), Siddarth Kaul 9-0-43-2 (4w), Ravindra Jadeja 6-1-21-1, Abdullah Iqbal 5-0-22-0 (1w), Virat Kohli 7-1-27-2 (4w), Tanmay Srivastava 10-0-46-2 (2w).
India U-19 Innings
Taruwar Kohli c Morgan b Southee 10
Shreevats Goswami b Southee 51
Tanmay Srivastava c Anderson b Verma 13
Virat Kohli c Williamson b Worker 43
Saurabh Tiwary not out 29
Manish Pandey c Guptill-Bunce b Southee 18
Ravindra Jadeja c Guptill-Bunce b Southee 1
Sayeed Abdullah Iqbal c Guptill-Bunce b Boult 2 Pradeep Sangwan not out 5
Extras (b5, lb3, wd11) 19
TOTAL 191 for 7
Fall of Wickets: 1-24, 2-40, 3-124, 4-150, 5-177, 6-180, 7-183. Did not bat: Ajitesh Argal, Siddarth Kaul
Bowling: Tim Southee 9-0-29-4 (3w), Trent Boult 8-1-26-1 (2w), Greg Morgan 3-0-18-0, Anurag Verma 7-1-26-1, Corey Anderson 4-0-29-0, Nicholas Beard 2-0-16-0 (1w), Kane Williamson 1-0-7-0, George Worker 7.3-0-32-1
Umpires: Marais Erasmus (South Africa), Peter Hartley (England) TV Umpire: Enamul Hoque-Moni (Bangladesh); Match referee: Chris Broad (England)
Toss: won by New Zealand Under-19
Result: India Under-19 won by three wickets.