India relied on spinners Baba Aparajith and Harmeet Singh to pull off a thrilling 9-run victory over New Zealand and cruise into the final of the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup here on Thursday. SCORE | PHOTOSDefending a modest total of 209, Indian bowlers maintained their consistency throughout as they restricted New Zealand to 200 for nine in their 50 overs to set up a title clash against Australia on Sunday.Needing 18 off last over, medium pacer Sandeep Sharma kept his cool as he gave away only nine runs as India made it to summit clash quite comfortably in the end at the Tony Ireland stadium.Young Tamil Nadu lad Aparajith got his second successive man-of-the-match award for his all-round show as he scored 44 before taking the important wicket of Robert O’Donell.This is India U-19 team’s fourth appearance in the final of the tournament having won the 2000 and 2008 editions while they were runners-up in 2006.A target of 210 was never a tall-order for the Black Caps colts but all-rounder Aparajith (1/29) and the young sardar from Mumbai Harmeet (2/30) stifled the set New Zealand pair of Cam Fletcher (53) and O’Donell (29) in the middle overs to set it up for the Indians.The duo gave away only 59 runs in the 20 overs between them and also shared three wickets. The highlight certainly were the Batting Powerplay overs where two of them gave away only 14 runs in the five overs.While New Zealand lost the first four wickets for 63 runs, Carter-O’Donell duo put on 56 runs for the fifth wicket without much fuss. It looked as if New Zealand were cruising along towards victory before Harmeet-Aparajith applied brakes on scoring. Back to-back maidens in the 34th and 35th overs suddenly increased the pressure on the Kiwis.advertisementAs the pressure mounted, O’Donell closed the face of his bat to an off-break from Aparajith to offer a simple return catch as India made decisive inroads.
LATEST STORIES LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño “If I was to win the US Open or something, I won’t play again for the rest of the year,” he added.The supremely talented but combustible Kyrgios has become infamous for petulant behavior, outbursts and meltdowns on court.At the US Open in August an umpire gave him a controversial pep talk during his second-round game for his perceived lack of effort.And he was criticized for his lackluster performance in exiting the Shanghai Masters in the first round in October.Kyrgios said that “being away from home was the toughest bit”.ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss View comments SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Nick Kyrgios of Australia reacts after being defeated by Bradley Klahn of the US during their men’s single round of 64 match at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament on October 8, 2018. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP)Temperamental Australian Nick Kyrgios says he will cut back on his schedule in 2019, blaming long stints away from home for mental health issues that led him to see psychologists.The fiery 23-year-old had another roller-coaster tennis season this year where he was criticized for his on-court antics, before an elbow injury forced him to call an early halt to the year in October.ADVERTISEMENT BREAKING: Corrections officer shot dead in front of Bilibid TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. INQUIRER SPORTS TOP 7 Stories of the year: Team Lakay’s dominance in ONE MOST READ Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? “Battling injuries, going to tournaments and not even playing was tough, but again, they’re not really big problems,” he added.“I’ll have a lighter schedule and when I play, enjoy playing and just compete.”His start to the new season hasn’t gone entirely to plan after he was bitten by a spider and admitted to hospital on Christmas Day.But after antibiotics and rest he said he was ready to go again.“I didn’t take it (bite) seriously. I just felt an irritation on my foot the day before Christmas,” he said. “There’s worse things in the world but I think I’ll be okay.”Kyrgios has been dealt a tough start to his Brisbane defense after being drawn to face American Ryan Harrison in the first round in a rematch of the 2018 final.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting On returning home he told his local Canberra Times newspaper he was “starting to see some psychologists and trying to get on top of my mental health”, admitting he had “probably left it a little too long”.He makes his tennis comeback at the Brisbane International this week as defending champion and said he was feeling much better but would tighten-up his schedule after a grueling 2018.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion“Being home solved a lot of my problems. It was more mental than anything,” he said.“I was away from home for five-and-a-half months. I don’t ever want to do that again. SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion