Christchurch: Shubman Gill did justice to his reputation as being one of the exciting talents in Indian cricket after he slammed a stylish hundred as India overcame arch-rivals Pakistan in the second semi-final of the U-19 World Cup by 203 runs at the Hagley Oval on Tuesday.
India would now face Australia in the final in Tauranga on Saturday.
His 102* of 94 balls is India’s first hundred in the ongoing competition and it was followed by some world class bowling by Ishan Porel, who wreaked havoc with the ball, grabbing four wickets conceding just 17 runs in six overs to skittle Pakistan for just 69 runs, after setting a 273-run target.
India won the toss and opted to bat first and did justice to that decision as skipper Prithvi Shaw and Manjot Kalra (47) put up an 89-run stand. Shaw, who looked good on 41 failed to ground his bat despite a dive was the first one to fall as Pakistan had found an opening and looked to capitalise on it.
But Gill, who has had a terrific tournament so far with his previous scored being 63, 90*, 86 had other ideas in mind as he looked to counter attack and put Pakistan back under pressure. His classy knock, which included some beautiful shots came of just 94 deliveries with seven fours. The youngster, who was recently bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders at the IPL auctions held fort at one end while Anukul Roy (33) and Harvik Desai (20) chipped in as India posted 272 runs on the board. Mohammad Musa, who had earlier effected Shaw’s run-out took four wickets while Arshad Iqbal ended with figures of 3/51.
If Gill starred in the first innings, it was Porel, who gave the Indians a flying start as his fiery bowling, in no time reduced Hasan Khan’s team to 28/4. Pakistan never really recovered from that setback as wickets kept falling which further dampened their chances of making it to the final. Barring wicket-keeper batsman Rohail Nazir who top-scored with 18 runs and Saad Khan (15), none of the other batters got going as eventually their effort ended at 69 runs in 29.3 overs.
Riyan Parag and Shiva Singh also got two wickets each with Abhishek Sharma and Anukul Roy grabbing one apiece. Despite ending wicketless, Kamlesh Nagarkoti conceded only seven runs in five overs, which goes to show the extent of India’s dominance over their opponents
The contest, which was supposed to a thrilling one ended up being a one-sided affair as India eased their way by a massive win to set up a summit clash against Australia, who had beaten Afghanistan en route to the final.
Pakistan U-19 69 all out in 29.3 overs (Rohail Nazir 18, Saad Khan 15; Ishan Porel 4/17) lost to India U-19 272/9 (Shubman Gill 102*, Manjot Kalra 47; Mohammad Musa 4/67) by 203 runs