India captain Yash Dhull has said his team had decided to bat without taking risks until the 40th over of its innings during the semifinal of the U-19 World Cup on Wednesday . The approach paid off as India posted a formidable 290 for 5 en route to a 96-run victory.

Off to a shaky start after opting to bat, India was struggling at 37 for 2 when Dhull walked in. Dhull scored a run-a-ball 110 (10x4, 1x6) and stitched a 204-run partnership with his deputy Shaik Rasheed (94, 108 b, 84, 1x6) to post a formidable 290 for five. The target ended up being too steep for Australia as it was bowled out for 194 in 41.5 overs.

“The plan from me and Rasheed was to bat till the end, and it worked. The idea was to bat steadily, not to try too many shots, and to bat past the 40th over,” Dhull said at the post match presentation.

Dhull and Rashid were eventually dismissed off successive balls in the 46th over.

ALSO READ - Eight India U-19 players who could make a splash at the auction

“Myself and Rasheed bat well together, we combine well and it showed. Rasheed and me had a good partnership and we had good partnerships lower down as well,” he added.

Dhull praised the team lavishly and especially Rashid, who along with Dhull and a few others had contracted COVID-19 during the group stages of the tournament. “The way in which the boys are playing is good. Rasheed is mentally very strong. We were in the bubble together and he is always mentally prepared,” Dhull said.

‘Proud moment’

With his sublime 110, Dhull became the third Indian captain to score a U-19 World Cup century after former India captain Virat Kohli and Unmukt Chand, and Dhull described it as “a proud moment.”

Australia U-19 captain Cooper Connolly felt the game slipped away from his team’s grasp in the last 10 overs when India scored over 100 runs to post an intimidating total. “Going into the last 10, we thought we were in a good position, but they scored 100 and thus 290 was a bridge too far,” he said.

Commenting on the overall experience of his team at the U-19 World Cup, he said, “The experience was good but the only problem was the bubble. The way we played spin was good and we just got better with every session. There’s a lot of positives. We adapted well to conditions pretty quickly, every session got better,” Conolly said.

India plays England in the final on Sunday.