India entered the final of the U-19 cricket World Cup after thrashing arch-rivals Pakistan by a massive 203 runs in the semifinals here today. India will now meet Australia in the summit clash on February 3. Australia had beaten Afghanistan by six wickets in the first semifinals yesterday. Opting to bat first, India rod on Shubman Gill’s 102 not out of 94 balls to pile on 272/9 in their allotted 50 overs and then bowled Pakistan out for a mere 69 in just 29.3 overs. Gill, who was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 1.8 crore in the Indian Premier League players’ auction, had hit a match-winning 86 in the quarterfinals against Bangladesh. He is the team’s leading scorer with 341 runs. The defeat was Pakistan’s heaviest (in terms of runs) in a U-19 World Cup match. For three-time champions India, seamer Ishan Porel grabbed four wickets for 17 runs while spinners Shiva Singh and Riyan Parag took two wickets apiece to rock the Pakistan run chase.
Pakistan were reduced to 20 for 3 in the eighth over with Porel removing their top three batsmen and they could not recover from there under a relentless attack from an Indian pace battery and a spin troika. Only three Pakistani players could reach double-digit scores with Rohail Nazir hitting 18. The Indians also fielded superbly with Shivam Mavi and Prithvi Shaw pulling off outstanding catches at fine leg and slip respectively. Brief Scores: India: 272 for 9 in 50 overs (Shubman Gill 102 not out; Muhammad Musa 4/67). Pakistan: 69 all out in 29.3 overs (Rohail Nazir 18; Ishan Porel 4/17, Shiva Singh 2/20, Riyan Parag 2/6).