Christchurch (New Zealand): India set their date with Australia for the 2018 Under 19 Cricket World Cup summit clash after thrashing arch-rivals Pakistan by 203 runs in the second semi-final at the Hagley Oval here on Tuesday.
Young Shubman Gill set things up with an unbeaten 94-ball 102 that helped India post 272/9 after opting to bat, before pacer Ishan Porel’s 4/17 dismantled Pakistan for 69 runs — their lowest total in U19 CWC history.
Pakistan had a few moments in the first innings, especially with Muhammad Musa (4/67) and Arshad Iqbal (3/51) running through India’s middle order to give the batsmen a few jitters.
However, Gill’s mesmeric century, his sixth consecutive fifty-plus total in U19 ODIs, helped the three-time U19 World Cup champions reach Saturday’s final.
Opting to bat, skipper Prithvi Shaw (41 from 42 balls; 4X3, 6X1) and Manjot Kalra (47 from 59; 4X7) gave India a flying 89-run start, before the former was run out attempting a quick single.
Three overs later, Manjot’s dismissal by Musa reduced India to 94/2.
Gill came in and took charge after that, virtually ensuring Pakistan were better off just focusing on the other end.
It yielded some success, with Arshad Iqbal running through the middle order, dismissing Harvik Desai (20), Riyan Parag (2) and Abhishek Sharma (5).
Gill did most of the scoring though, putting on 54 with Desai to revive the innings after the openers’ dismissal, and a crucial 67 with Anukul Roy (33 off 45), who himself plundered the Pakistan bowlers in the final stretch.
Roy was caught behind down the leg side off Musa, but Gill carried on to complete his century in dramatic circumstances.
The one-down batsman was on 99 when he got on strike with one ball remaining. He got to three figures after he was dropped by Hassan in the deep.
It turned out that it was a no-ball, although it yielded just one run from the free-hit that followed.
In response, the Indian pacemen proved hard to handle, zipping and shaping the ball around.
The Pakistan batsmen’s temperament has been suspect all through the tournament, and on Tuesday, it was laid bare for all to see.
With Shivam Mavi putting pressure from one end with three consecutive maidens, Porel capitalised at the other end — he had Zaid Alam (7), Imran Shah (2) and Ali Zaryab (1) dismissed in consecutive overs as Pakistan were reduced to 20/3.
Ammad Alam (4) became Porel’s fourth victim, holing out after slicing an attempted drive.
The Indian spinners complemented their pace partners well with Shiva Singh and Parag claiming Mohammad Taha (4) and Rohail Nazir (18), respectively in quick succession.
A similar fate awaited skipper Hassan Khan (1) and Shaheen Afridi (0), and it was telling that Pakistan’s only positive in the innings was a 20-run ninth-wicket partnership between Saad Khan (15) and Musa (11 not out), which wasn’t enough to avoid that unwanted record – their lowest total in U19 World Cup history.
Brief Scores: India 272/9 (Shubman Gill 102 not out, Manjot Kalra 47, Prithvi Shaw 41; Mohammed Musa 4/67, Arshad Iqbal 3/51) against Pakistan 69 (Rohail Nazir 18, Saad Khan 15; Ishan Porel 4/17, Riyan Parag 2/6, Shiva Singh 2/20).