India and Australia will once again compete for the silverware in the final of the ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup 2024 after an impressive run of semi-final matches.
India secured their place in the final by defeating hosts South Africa by two wickets in a tense match on Tuesday. Chasing 245 to win, India staged a strong comeback from 32 for four thanks to a brilliant match-winning partnership between Sachin Dhaas and captain Uday Saharan to pull off a memorable win.
There was no shortage of drama in Thursday's second semi-final as Australia secured a one-wicket win over Pakistan in the final over of the competition. After bowling out Pakistan for less than a total of 179, Australia faltered in their chase before their middle and lower order built crucial partnerships that helped them take the lead in thrilling fashion.
The much-awaited final between the two sides will be held on Sunday 11th February at Willowmoor Park, Benoni, the same venue where both the semi-finals were held, with the action starting at 10:00am local time (SAST).
Both India and Australia are undefeated in the finals, have topped their respective groups in both the preliminary stage and Super Six stage, and can boast some of the most exciting young talent on the planet.
Future stars who have impressed throughout the competition include India captain Uday Saharan and Australia's Hugh Wiebgen, and both have their sights set on lifting the coveted trophy on Sunday.
Speaking before the final, India captain, Uday Saharan said: “As we approach the World Cup final, we carry the dreams of billions of hearts on our shoulders. Our journey has been a testament to our hard work, unity and love for the game.
“In this final battle, our goal is to create a legacy that inspires the next generation. It's not just a game; This is your chance to register your name in history.
“Right from our first game, we have played with passion, determination and belief that we will bring home the coveted title. In the final, it is going to be no different against Australia as we move one step closer to successfully defending the title. Together, as a team, as a nation, we will enter the final, ready to seize our moment and make India proud.
“As a captain, I couldn't have asked for anything more from my team as we stand on the brink of making history.”
Australia's captain, Hugh Wiebgen: “We are really happy to make the final after a close match against Pakistan and we can't wait to face India in the final on Sunday.
“The entire team has done a fantastic job throughout the tournament and lifting the trophy on Sunday will mean a lot to us as a group. This is an opportunity to make our coaches as well as family and friends extremely proud. They have helped and supported us throughout the journey.
He said, “India has also had a great tournament so far and they are a class team. “We’re expecting them to challenge us and we’re looking forward to it.”
These two teams have met twice before in the ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup final, with India winning on both the previous occasions in 2012 and 2018.
The official appointments for Sunday's final have also been confirmed, with Allahuddin Palekar and Langton Russere selected as on-field umpires. Rashid Riaz will play the role of TV umpire, Roland Black will play the role of fourth umpire and Shaid Wadwalla will play the role of match referee.
Benoni fans who want to watch the U19 Men's U19 CWC 2024 champion be crowned can do so for free at Sunday's final. The on-field action will be accompanied by a vibrant festive atmosphere, with live music and entertainment on offer that promises to be a memorable display of cricket.
Fans in India will be able to watch the action on Star Sports 1 and Disney+ Hotstar along with free-to-air coverage on Doordarshan. In Australia, Prime Video will provide live coverage across all devices.
In host country South Africa, SuperSport Cricket will present live coverage that also extends to Sub-Saharan Africa.
CricLife Max and StarzPlay will provide coverage in the MENA region, while the match will be broadcast on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event channels in the UK, with additional live coverage provided by Willow (USA and Canada), ESPN Caribbean (Caribbean). and in New Zealand on Sky Sports 2.
In all other regions, the final will be broadcast live and available free of charge on ICC.tv.