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Mumbai openers take India to U-19 World Cup finals, demolish Pakistan

Yashasvi Jaiswal (105 not out) and Divyansh Saxena (59 not out) sealed the deal with 14.4 overs to spare after India’s bowlers set it up by dismantling Pakistan for 172.

Written by Devendra Pandey | Mumbai |
Updated: February 5, 2020 11:44:30 am
india vs pakistan, ind vs pak u19 world cup, ind vs pak run out, pakistan run out, cricket news, indian express India beat Pakistan by 10 wickets in the semi-finals in Potchefstroom in South Africa. (ICC)

ONE SOLD pani-puris on the road not so long ago, the other went to a famous cricket academy. On Tuesday, the lives of these two teenagers converged on a cricket pitch over 7,000 km from their homes in Mumbai. The result: India beat Pakistan by 10 wickets to enter the final of the Under-19 World Cup at Potchefstroom in South Africa.

Yashasvi Jaiswal (105 not out) and Divyansh Saxena (59 not out) sealed the deal with 14.4 overs to spare after India’s bowlers set it up by dismantling Pakistan for 172. Jaiswal did his bit with the ball too, prising out rival opener Haider Ali (56).

It was about eight years ago that Jaiswal, the son of a shop keeper in UP’s Bhadohi, left home to pursue his cricket dream in Mumbai. He began by sharing a tent with ground staff at the Azad Maidan and selling pani-puris. Around the same time, Saxena convinced his father, a nuclear scientist, that his passion was cricket and landed up at former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar’s academy in search of guidance.

“Divyansh was good in academics, scoring around 80% in Class 10 and passing with distinction in Class 12. But as a parent, I always gave my children the liberty to decide their own future. There was no proper practice facility where we lived then, so he decided to join Vengsarkar’s academy,” said Divyansh’s father, Ajay Saxena, who works at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).

Ajay says he doesn’t talk much in the office about his son playing for India. “I didn’t speak to Divyansh either for the last two days as we didn’t want to disturb him. He has been telling us that he will come home with the Cup. When he was batting today, there were many goose-bump moments for me. Probably, they will talk to me about this tomorrow at the office,” said Ajay Saxena, laughing.

At a glance: Yashasvi Jaiswal’s unbeaten 105 helps India thrash Pakistan in U19 WC semifinal

When Saxena was sharpening his batting skills, Jaiswal would often go to sleep on an empty stomach. Occasionally, his father would send money but that was never enough. Before boarding the flight to South Africa, his teammates shared a laugh about the numerous bats he was carrying — seven. “People have laughed at me since I was small. They don’t know the importance of these bats. I know,” he had said.

Back in Bhadohi, Jaiswal’s father Bhupendra is thrilled with his son’s heroics against Pakistan. “He made all of us proud today. He was batting brilliantly and it was only a matter of time before he got a hundred. He has made our chests swell with pride,” he said.

Also Read:

How U-19 star Yashasvi Jaiswal’s coach pushed him to score a century

After century against Pakistan, U-19 star Yashasvi Jaiswal says he is not done yet

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