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ICC Under-19 World Cup: Gill stars again as India rout Pakistan to advance to Final

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Shubman Gill produced a classy century in the face of some fine fast bowling as India marched into their sixth final at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup with a facile 203 runs victory over Pakistan at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

In front of broadcast cameras, Gill’s innings of 102 not out in the second Super League semi-final helped India post a challenging 272 for nine even as Pakistan bowlers Muhammad Musa and Arshad Iqbal bowled their hearts out to share seven scalps.


In reply, Pakistan were bundled out for 69 in 29.3 overs, their lowest total to date in the tournament.

In the final in Tauranga on 3 February, India play Australia, whom they had defeated by 100 runs in the preliminary league. Both the sides have won the title three times each, which means Saturday’s winners will become the most successful nation in the history of the tournament.

Shubman Gill capitalized on his fine form to produce a timely century. Indian batsmen were made to wage it out in the face of inspired spells from Musa and Arshad and the three-time champions needed that one big innings to set a challenging target.

Gill, who was later declared player of the match, said he was only looking to score maximum runs rather than get to a century.

“I think there was not too much going in my mind. I was just playing the balls on merit. I was just thinking that not too many batsmen are left, so was just thinking one ball at a time. At 99, I was only looking to run as fast as I could.

"This was a special innings in a big match against Pakistan and their bowlers were bowling very well. I thought 250-260 would be a good-enough total for the pacers to defend. I’m now looking forward to playing Australia in the final.”

Gill took charge after openers Manjot Kalra (47, 59b, 7x4) and Prithvi Shaw (41, 42b, 3x4, 1x6) had added 89. Captain Shaw’s run out gave Pakistan a window of opportunity and there was a keen battle in the mid overs as Anukul Roy (33) and Harvik Desai (20) contributed useful knocks but Musa (4-67) and Arshad (3-51) chipped away to ensure things were not easy for India.

Gill, who has played first-class cricket for Punjab and was recently picked by Kolkata Knight Riders to play in the Indian Premier League, took the mantle on himself with an authoritative century. Gill played along the ground for the first part of his 94-ball innings but was not afraid to loft the ball later, even though all his seven boundary hits were fours.

This was Gill’s sixth consecutive score of 50 or more. He had struck two fifties on a tour of England in August and three earlier in this tournament – 63 against Australia, 90 not out versus Zimbabwe and 86 versus Bangladesh in the quarter-finals. He did not get to bat in a 10-wicket win over Papua New Guinea in the preliminary league.

Gill got to his century off what was to be the last ball of the innings. He lofted Musa to long-off, where captain Hassan Khan dropped an easy catch. Gill ran two to move from 99 to 101 but was to learn later that it was a no-ball. He then got a single off the resultant free-hit to complete the innings.

Pakistan were never in the chase as fast bowler Ishan Porel removed openers Zaid Alam (7) and Imran Shah (2) in successive overs and grabbed the prized wicket of Ali Zaryab to reduce Pakistan to 20 for three. Rohail Nazir’s score of 18 was the highest score in the innings while Porel finished with impressive figures of 6-2-17-4.

Pakistan captain Hassan Khan said his team had not buckled under pressure but was outplayed: “I don’t think the team was feeling any pressure. A lot of the boys were high on morale and were enjoying themselves. But Shubnam started well, and we misfielded a few as well.

“I think we did well (in India’s innings), given how the pitch was, our fast bowlers and spinners did well. If we had put in more effort in the field, we might have been able to keep them to a lesser total and it would have been a different story.”

India beat Pakistan by 203 runs, Hagley Oval, Christchurch

India 272-9, 50 overs (Shubman Gill 102 not out, Manjot Kalra 47, Prithvi Shaw 41, Anukul Roy 33, Muhammad Musa 4-67, Arshad Iqbal 3-51)

Pakistan 69 all out in 29.3 overs (Ishan Porel 4-17, Riyan Prayag 2-6, Shiva Singh 2-20)

Player of the match: Shubman Gill (India)