Indian Under-19 cricket team pulled off another handsome triumph in the U19 World Cup tournament as they beat Pakistan by a 203-run margin in the semi-final on Tuesday. Now the men in blue have entered the ultimate final clash of the tournament, which will take place between India and Australia on Saturday (3rd February).
By defeating the Pakistan U19 team in the semi-final, India registered their fifth win over their arch-rivals in Under-19 World Cup. However, India’s smooth run in the tournament ends here as they face Australia in the final, who are three-time winners of the U19 World Cup trophy.
India-Pakistan semi-final, as it happened
In the semi-final between India-Pakistan which took place on Tuesday, Pakistan were given no room since the very first ball. India’s dominant performance included skilled batting performance by the young sensation, Shubman Gill, who scored his maiden century to nudge the men in blue to 272/9.
Chasing the target, Pakistan U19’s batting order failed catastrophically, as they were bowled out for a lowly score of 69, making it the green team’s heaviest defeat in the U19 World Cup history. Orchestrating Pakistan’s tragedy was the India fast bowler Ishan Porel, who bagged four wickets and accompanied spinners Riyan Parag and Shiva Singh, who took two wickets each.
Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw’s excellent batting
India batsmen Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw were drafted in the 2018 Indian Premier League just two days before the semi-final clash against Pakistan. And the duo, specially Shubman Gill proved that their appearance in the top-class cash-rich Indian T20 league was not undeserved.
Shubman Gill came in at the fall of India’s first wicket, and remained unbeaten on 102 runs as he outscored India skipper Prithvi Shaw’s earlier 94, and ended up registering the highest individual score by an Indian in the U19 World Cup tournament. Shubman Gill’s personal tally of the tournament reached 341 runs, with an average of over 170. Later during India’s fielding, Gill even returned to take a stunning catch.
Shubman Gill was given strong support from Indian batsmen; Harvik Desai and Anukul Roy, as he produced a 50-run partnership with both. Openers Prithvi Shaw and Manjot Kalra had given India a good foundation by putting a stand of 89 runs on the scoreboard, following which Prithvi Shaw was run-out for 41 runs.
But for most of the part, Pakistan was found struggling on the field, as they missed almost half a dozen run-out chances and even dropped two crucial catches.
Pakistan pacer Arshad Iqbal made a slow start as he gave away 21 runs in his first three overs, but came back stronger in his second spell as he took 3 wickets in 3 overs (Desai, Riyan Parag and Abhishek Sharma), and reduced India to 166/5.
However, taking a hold of the situation, Anukul and Shubman Gill got together for a 67-run partnership which allowed Gill to accelerate in the final ten overs, and register a 93-ball century to help India finish with a decent total.
Pakistan’s chase had ended before it could even start. Their highest partnership was of 20 runs, which came between Saad Khan and Muhammad Musa. The Pakistan top-order was reduced by Ishan Porel to 28/4 by the end of just the 12th over. Eight Pakistan batsmen could only tally single-digit runs before they lost their wickets. To end the suffering for the green team, Abhishek Sharma took the final wicket in just three balls, and sealed the memorable win for the Rahul Dravid-coached team.