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India hope to be lucky in final

2000 champions India have an advantage against South Africa in the final of the under-19 World Cup as they have beaten them in their pool clash convincingly.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Kaula Lumpur
UPDATED ON MAR 01, 2008 09:20 PM IST

Champions in 2000 and undefeated in Kaula Lumpur, India will start with an advantage against South Africa in the final of the under-19 World Cup on Sunday as they have beaten them in their pool clash convincingly.

The Virat Kohli-led India beat the South Africans by six wickets with 48 balls to spare and the victory should stand the Indians in good stead when they meet again at the Kinrara Oval.

India, having lost in the final of the previous tournament in Colombo, will be wary, though none of the players of the 2006 squad has survived in this tournament due to the age cap. Four years ago, Pakistan had beaten India comfortably by 38 runs to retain the cup.

Playing South Africa in the final could be a blessing in disguise for the Indians, as the 2006 final would not be playing on their minds.

India made it to the final with a three-wicket win over New Zealand with nine balls to spare in a rain-interrupted semi-final after a few hiccups in the closing stages of the game.

The second semi-final spilled over to the second day. But South Africa kept their nerves to beat champions Pakistan by 98 runs after rains had stopped the match on Friday.

India will largely bank on the two Kohlis, Virat and Turuwar, who are in good touch.

Turuwar is currently placed third in the run aggregate list, having scored 217 for 54.25 in five matches, slamming three half-centuries. Virat is just one run less than Taruwar, but the skipper has a century to his credit.

Left-hander Shreevats Goswami has also done reasonably well, having scored two half-centuries in five matches.

In bowling, left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla is the top Indian wicket taker with nine. Ravindra Jadeja, Siddharth Kaul and Pradeep Sangwan have bagged eight wickets each.

For South Africa, left-handed batsman Jonathan Vandiar, 17, has been the most prolific scorer with 183 runs at 45.75. He has also cracked two half-centuries.

Left-arm pacer Wayne Parnell is the second in the tournament's highest wicket-takers list with 16 at a fabulous 8.12 - just one wicket less than New Zealand pacer Tim Southee.


India: Virat Kohli (captain), Abhinav Mukund, Ajitesh Argal, Shreevats Goswami, Tanmay Srivastava, Manish Pandey, Turuwar Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Saurabh Tiwary, Duvvarapu Siva Kumar, Pradeep Sangwan, Siddharth Kaul, Einstein Napoleon, Perry Goyal and Sayyed Abdullah Iqbal

South Africa: Wayne Parnell (captain), Roy Adams, Matthew Arnold, Clayton August, Bradley Barnes, Daniel Childs, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Reeza Hendricks, Pieter Malan, Mangaliso Mosehle, Abraham Pienaar, Rilee Rossouw, Jon Jon Smuts, Yaseen Vallie, Jonathan Vandiar.

Umpires: Peter Hartley (England) and Gary Baxter (New Zealand)
Third umpire: Tyron Wijiwardena (Sri Lanka)
Reserve umpire: Zameer Haider (Pakistan)
Match referee: Chris Broad (England)

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