India and Pakistan will meet in the second semi-final for the right to face three-time champions Australia in the 2018 Under-19 World Cup final in Mount Maunganui on February 3. The rivalry is fierce, but unlike in the men's World Cup, where India have a 6-0 advantage, Pakistan hold the slight edge here. Contests between the two have been engrossing, and only occasionally one-sided. Here is a look back at five of them from previous editions:
Group-stage fixture in Dubai, 2014
India brushed aside questions over their preparedness after they had lost both warm-ups, and turned up on the big day. Sanju Samson, who had already played top-flight cricket with Rajasthan Royals at the Champions League T20 just a few months earlier, consolidated with a half-century. But it was Sarfaraz Khan, the 16-year old, billed as a special talent in Mumbai's cricketing circles, who set the stage with a combative half-century that propelled India to 262 on a sluggish Dubai surface. It proved to be 40 too many for Pakistan, after Deepak Hooda returned five wickets with his flat offbreaks.
Returning from illness, left-arm spinner Harmeet Singh was prolific with the ball, and bailed India out with the bat. While Sandeep did the bulk of the damage with three wickets, Harmeet's 1 for 20 in 10 overs played a part in Pakistan tumbling for 136. That ought to have sufficed for a relaxing second half, but it was anything but.
Still 17 away, India had stumbled to 120 for 6. When 10 were needed, they were 127 for 9, fast bowlers Azizullah and Ehsan Adil triggering the meltdown. Harmeet was left with No. 11 Sandeep Sharma to salvage a win. The pair batted for seven overs with admirable composure to drag India over.
Quarter-final in Lincoln, 2010
In cold and grey Lincoln, Pakistan seamer Fayyad Butt made use of helpful conditions to snare 4 for 27 and limit India to 114 for 9 in a match reduced to 23 overs a side. Pakistan, though, came out playing shots, and at 16 for 3, it was game on.
It was then down to middle-order batsman Hammad Azam, whose brisk cameo knocked out the defending champions.
Jaydev Unadkat, an IPL millionaire on Sunday, ended a brief recovery as Pakistan were five down needing another 37. With 24 needed off 16, Mohammad Waqas smashed Ashok Menaria over midwicket for six, but fell next ball. With 16 needed off 12, a timely four from Usman Qadir brought the equation down to a run a ball, but he too fell next ball.
Amid the swinging fortunes, Hammad brought out his adventurous streak, biffing Sandeep across the line for six over midwicket, and then scooping Unadkat for four over short fine leg. Now, Pakistan needed just four off the final over, but lost Sarmad Bhatti off the second ball. Hammad, however, crossed over, and took control of the situation by slapping Sandeep through point to seal a thrilling two-wicket win.
A decade before they would become Test cricketers, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja were starry-eyed teenagers eyeing a World Cup prize when they ran into familiar opponents Pakistan in the final. The trophy must have seemed a formality when Pakistan were bundled out for 109. Not in the face of Anwar Ali's swing, as he demolished Piyush Chawla's record for best figures in a final with a five-for that floored India.
Gaurav Dhiman, who had earned a reputation of being a hard-hitter upfront, was out first ball. Pujara was dismissed off Anwar's first ball, to a potentially harsh lbw call. Rohit was bowled by an inswinger from the same bowler, and India were in tatters at 23 for 7. Chawla and Pinal Shah resisted to bring the target under 50. As the two looked increasingly comfortable, Pakistan's fielders began to stutter. But when Shah got one that reared up from nowhere to kiss the edge, the end was near. Amid the carnage, Chawla stood inconsolable, after a performance that could've earned him a Player of the Final on most days. Pakistan had done the unthinkable.
With 497 runs in the competition, Shikhar Dhawan was in the form of his life. But when he fell for 8, India crumbled under pressure to fold for 169. It left the bowlers with a too tall a task in superb batting conditions in Dhaka. Despite that, Dhiman and RP Singh broke open the game, swinging the ball under lights, as Pakistan lost half their side with 83 on the board. But Fawad Alam stood tall, and with Tariq Mahmood, put on an unbroken 88-run stand to snuff out India's fight. This match was a lesson for Pakistan in how to ease pressure in a stiff. They would go on to beat West Indies and win the tournament.