Yet another dominant show by the Indian U-19 team over archrivals Pakistan took them to their second consecutive Under-19 World Cup final. A thrashing of 203 runs helped the boys in blue set up the title clash with Australia on Saturday.
Right-arm pacer Ishan Porel bowled a brilliant spell at the start, reducing Pakistan to 28/4. Pakistan couldn’t recover from the opening shock and were all out for 69.
Porel ended up with bowling figures of 4-17.
Earlier, Shubman Gill’s unbeaten, attacking hundred helped India post 272/9 on a challenging Christchurch surface. Gill’s 94-ball 102 comes after his six consecutive half-centuries in youth ODIs – a world record.
Muhammad Musa (4/67) and Arshad Iqbal (3/51) rattled the Indian line-up, wrecking the middle order. But Gill, on Tuesday, was outstanding.
After Indian skipper Prithvi Shaw elected to bat – giving the fans a chance to watch the exciting rivalry of Shaw versus left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi – Pakistan made a mess of their early chances to remove opener Manjot Kalra. He was dropped twice by Zaid Alam, off Shaheen on 24 and on 29 off Hassan Khan. The chances allowed India to put on a solid opening partnership of 89 before Shaw was run out by a diving Musa.
Musa, then, dismissed Kalra, three overs later, off his bowling to reduce India to 94/2. Gill walked in and took charge of steering the innings. Arshad Iqbal ran through the middle order, dismissing all of Harvik Desai (20), Riyan Parag (2) and Abhishek Sharma (5). But Gill’s partnerships of 54 with Desai and 67 with Anukul Roy proved crucial. He was on 99, got on strike with one ball remaining, and got to three figures after he was dropped by Hassan Khan in the deep off a no-ball.
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