Three-time champions India stormed into the final of U-19 World Cup 2018 after outclassing arch-rivals Pakistan by 203 runs at Hagley Oval, Christchurch on Tuesday, January 30.
Shubman Gill, who has bagged an Indian Premier League (IPL) contract with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), slammed an unbeaten ton (102*) to help India set Pakistan a target of 273.
Notably, Gill became the first Indian player to score a hundred in the ongoing tournament. The 18-year-old has hit 341 runs in five matches and has crossed the 50-run mark in each of the four innings he has played.
Anticipating good contest btw Ind/Pak n U-19 WC semi final I got up at 2am..only to be thoroughly disappointed with absolutely one sided game..Ind literally destroyed Pak w/Gill making an attacking ton.!This kid Gill is special talent..Dravid needs to control his temperament!— Bishan Bedi (@BishanBedi) January 30, 2018
In reply, Pakistan could manage only 69 as they were bowled out inside 30 overs. Wicketkeeper Rohail Nazir top-scored with 18 runs as their batting once again failed to deliver.
Pacer Ishan Porel was the pick of the Indian bowlers on Tuesday as he picked up four wickets for just 17 runs in 6 overs. Spinners Riyan Parag and Shiva Singh chipped in with two wickets each.
Notably, Pakistan were let down by their batsmen in their tournament opener against Afghanistan. However, spirited performance from their bowlers, especially pacers, helped them reach the last-four stages of the tournament.
On Tuesday though, Indian openers Prithvi Shaw (41) and Manjot Kalra (47) made sure Pakistan's new ball bowlers did not get an early upperhand by stitching an 87-run stand. Gill then took over with an elegant century, which included seven boundaries. All-rounder Anukul Roy contributed with a handy 33 lower down the batting order.
Rahul Dravid-coached India will now face Australia in the final of the tournament at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Saturday, February 3. Notably, the Asian giants had crushed Australia by 100 runs in their tournament opener on January 14.
This will also be the second successive final apperance for the India U-19 team. A Dravid-coached side lost to the West Indies in the final of 2016 U-19 World Cup.
Check out what the captains of India and Pakistan U-19 teams said after the semi-final encounter.
Shaw, India captain: It was a good all round performance from everyone. We are doing a great job. The plan was simple. Just look for the loose balls and convert into boundaries. Fast bowlers are doing a great job in the tournament, hope they do a good job in the finals as well. First class - really a good experience playing with the seniors. I'm feeling proud and thanks to the crowd as well.
Hasan Khan, Pakistan captain: The game was pretty much in balance [at the mid-innings break]. Unfortunately, our batters didn't perform. Nothing worked. We missed a couple of chances. Things didn't really go our way. The batsmen didn't perform up to the mark. The bowlers have been performing really well for us.