India counting on history to enter final
CHRISTCHURCH, FEB. 2. India and South Africa meet in the first semifinal of the ICC Under-19 World Cup here tomorrow with recent history suggesting Dilip Vengsarkar's side are favourites to reach the final.
The two teams have already met in the competition with India beating South Africa by 71 runs during the opening group stage of the tournament in Auckland two weeks ago.
Wicketkeeper Chandan Madan scored an unbeaten 105 as the South African bowlers struggled to contain the Indians, but on the turning tracks here it could be a different story.
South Africa hopes that left-armer Ian Postman, who took four wickets against England yesterday, whose tidy line and length will frustrate the Indian batsmen.
South Africans have showed great grit while bouncing back from 85-4 against New Zealand to post 241 for seven, and registering 212 for five against England despite early jolts.
On both occasions Western Province batsman Ryan Bailey was the key man, and along with Steven Cook and captain Hasim Amla he will be expected to lead the way against India.
India qualified for semifinals at a canter but suffered a blip when it was beaten by Pakistan on Thursday, and it need to get more runs on the board to overcome South Africa.
``Bowling is our biggest strength but we have to put a score on the board as well and we can't afford to bat badly again,'' Vengsarkar said.
India will be looking to allrounder Manvinder Bisla and stylish opener Parthiv Patel to build them a match winning total. Leg-spinner Abhishek Sharma and left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan are the dangermen with the ball.
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