Written by Devendra Pandey
| Mumbai |

Updated: February 5, 2020 4:44:31 am


India beat Pakistan by 10 wickets within the semi-finals in Potchefstroom in South Africa. (ICC)

ONE SOLD pani-puris on the highway not so way back, the opposite went to a well-known cricket academy. On Tuesday, the lives of those two youngsters converged on a cricket pitch over 7,000 km from their houses in Mumbai. The end result: India beat Pakistan by 10 wickets to enter the ultimate of the Under-19 World Cup at Potchefstroom in South Africa.

Yashasvi Jaiswal (105 not out) and Divyansh Saxena (59 not out) sealed the cope with 14.Four 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 in the past that Jaiswal, the son of a store keeper in UP’s Bhadohi, left residence to pursue his cricket dream in Mumbai. He started by sharing a tent with floor workers on the Azad Maidan and promoting pani-puris. Around the identical time, Saxena satisfied his father, a nuclear scientist, that his ardour was cricket and landed up at former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar’s academy seeking steering.

“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,” mentioned Divyansh’s father, Ajay Saxena, who works on the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).

Ajay says he doesn’t speak a lot in workplace about his son taking part in 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,” mentioned Ajay Saxena, laughing.

When Saxena was sharpening his batting abilities, Jaiswal would typically go to sleep on an empty abdomen. Occasionally, his father would ship cash however that was by no means sufficient. Before boarding the flight to South Africa, his teammates shared fun in regards to the quite a few 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 mentioned.

Back in Bhadohi, Jaiswal’s father Bhupendra is thrilled together with his son’s heroics in opposition to 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 mentioned.

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