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Updated February 1st, 2024 at 14:56 IST

U19 World Cup: India face Nepal in final Super Six match, keen to seal semifinals berth

When India plays a struggling Nepal in their final Group 1 Super Six encounter of the ICC Under-19 World Cup here on Friday, they would be keen to make their semifinal appearance a spectacular event.

Team India U-19
Team India U-19 squad celebrate after picking a wicket | Image:X/@BCCI
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India will be eager to make their semifinal entry a grand affair when they face a struggling Nepal in their final Group 1 Super Six match of the ICC Under-19 World Cup here on Friday.

The top two sides from the two Super Six groups will progress to the semifinals of the marquee event.

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Pakistan (+1.06) are close on their heels with six points but India (+3.32) occupy the top slot because of better net run rate.

The tournament favourites under Uday Saharan are yet to taste defeat in the tournament, and Nepal is unlikely to even stretch this powerful side.

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India's dominance is visible in the stats as well. They are on top of Group 1 with an all-win record and six points, while Nepal is yet to notch up any victory.

Musheer Khan, younger brother of prolific Mumbai batsman Sarfaraz, leads the batting chart with 325 runs averaging over 81 with two hundreds and his latest blitz came against New Zealand on January 30.

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Musheer's 131 off 126 balls was the leading light in India's thumping 214-run win over the Kiwis in their first Super Six match.

Saumy Kumar Pandey then wreaked havoc on New Zealand's line-up with a four-wicket haul.

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The left-arm spinner (12 wickets) now shares the top spot in the bowling table with Pakistan's Ubaid Shah and South Africa's Kwena Maphaka.

However, India have more depth in their squad beyond those two obvious stars.

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Captain Saharan, wicketkeeper batter Aravalli Avanish and explosive all-rounder Arshin Kulkarni too have made their presence felt in the event at various junctures.

The young stars will be eager to finish off their Super Six engagements on a high, and travel to Benoni for the last-four match high on confidence.

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Opener Adarsh Singh had struggled a bit for consistent runs but a 52, his second fifty here, against New Zealand might have filled him with oodles of confidence.

Left-arm pacer Naman Tiwary, who has contained run-flow effectively in the Power Play section, could be a nagging presence for Nepal top-order batters.

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However, writing off Nepal, who scored a thrilling win over Afghanistan in the preliminary stages, will be naive as the team from the Himalayan foothills has the wherewithal to stun the mighty on its day.

Skipper Dev Khanal (58) and medium pacer Akash Chand (5/34) were the stars of that win and they would hope to make an impression yet again. India, on the other hand, would try to avoid any mishap and take a safe path to the semifinals.

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Teams (from): India U19: Uday Saharan (c), Arshin Kulkarni, Adarsh Singh, Rudra Mayur Patel, Sachin Dhas, Priyanshu Moliya, Musheer Khan, Aravelly Avanish Rao, Saumy Kumar Pandey, Murugan Abhishek, Innesh Mahajan, Dhanush Gowda, Aaradhya Shukla, Raj Limbani and Naman Tiwari.

Nepal U19: Dev Khanal (c), Arjun Kumal, Aakash Tripathi, Dipak Prasad Dumre, Durgesh Gupta, Gulshan Kumar Jha, Dipesh Prasad Kandel, Bishal Bikram KC, Subhash Bhandari, Deepak Bohara, Dipak Bohara, Uttam Rangu Thapa Macar, Bipin Rawal, Tilak Raj Bhandari, Akash Chand.

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Match starts at 1.30 PM IST. 

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Published February 1st, 2024 at 14:56 IST

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