Arch-rivals India, Pakistan heading towards rematch in ICC U-19 World Cup semifinals
The Vijay Zol-led Indian side will square off against the 1998 winners England at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium while Pakistan will take on Sri Lanka at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. If both the sides come out on top, they will lock horns in the first semi-final on Monday.
Defending champions India and their traditional rivals Pakistan are heading for a rematch in the ICC Under-19 World Cup, provided both win their quarter-final matches on Saturday.
The Vijay Zol-led Indian side will square off against the 1998 winners England at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium while Sami Aslam's lads will take on Sri Lanka at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. If both the sides come out on top, they will lock horns in the first semi-final on Monday.
India, except for the match against Scotland where they slipped to 22/5 while chasing 89 for victory, have showed good touch while defeating Pakistan by 40 runs and then thumping Papua New Guinea (PNG) by 245 runs in pool matches. (Sri Lanka, South Africa go through to quarters)
In contrast, England lost a tight match to Sri Lanka by a wicket, but bounced back to defeat New Zealand by 115 runs after beating hosts United Arab Emirates by 213 runs. (Australia, Afghanistan go through to quarters)
Sanju Samson, with 160 runs, and Sarfaraz Khan, with 153 runs, are in good form for India while Kuldeep Yadav with eight wickets is the most successful bowler going into the Super League. (Hat-trick hero Kuldeep Yadav's family ecstatic)
In contrast, Jonathon Tattersall with 136 runs, Ryan Higgins with 108 runs and opener Harry Finch with 103 runs have done most of the scoring for England while Matthew Fish, Will Rhodes and off-spinner Rob Sayer have taken five wickets apiece.
India can take a lot of comfort from the fact that they lead 6-1 head-to-head against England in the U-19 World Cup. However, when the two sides met last, England defeated India by 31 runs with Ben Stokes scoring 100 in Lincoln in the 2010 event in New Zealand.
"It doesn't matter that we're playing England in the quarter-final. We have set our standards in all the three departments -- batting, bowling and fielding. So, we'd like to live up to our standards," Zol, who was a member of the India side that won the tournament in Townsville in 2012, said previewing the quarter-final.
"The league games were really good and competitive and our team looks in perfect mood and everyone's in good nick and we are raring to go. Kuldeep Yadav has been our main weapon for the last one year now. He has done well in all the tournaments, even in the three World Cup matches."
Rhodes, looking ahead to the India match, said: "We're really excited about playing India. It is the defending champion and we have played some good cricket in the tournament so far. We're feeling confident and really looking forward to the game on Saturday. The group stage was very exciting. All the teams gave in their best and we finally made our place among the eight teams that will play the quarterfinals."
India: Vijay Zol (Captain), Ankush Bains, Ricky Bhui, Aamir Gani, Akhil Herwadkar, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Karan Kaila, Avesh Khan, Sarfaraz Khan, Monu Kumar, Chama Milind, Sanju Samson, Atit Sheth and Kuldeep Yadav
England: Will Rhodes (Captain), Ed Barnard, Joe Clarke, Ben Duckett, Harry Finch, Matthew Fisher, Miles Hammond, Ryan Higgins, Rob Jones, Rob Sayer, Josh Shaw, Dominic Sibley, Jonathan Tattersall, Jack Winslade and Luke Wood.
Umpires: Ranmore Martinesz and Chris Gaffaney
TV Umpire: Simon Fry
Fourth Umpire: Enamul Hoque-Moni
Match Referee: Chris Broad