In­dia drubs Pak­istan to reach U19 fi­nal

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE - (AFP)

Christchurch, New Zealand - In­dia crushed arch-ri­val Pak­istan by 203 runs in their U19 World Cup cricket semi­fi­nal in Christchurch on Tues­day to set up a tour­na­ment de­cider against Aus­tralia.

An un­beaten cen­tury from Shub­man Gill helped In­dia set a com­pet­i­tive to­tal of 272, which Pak­istan never looked like reach­ing as it was skit­tled for 69 with more than 20 overs re­main­ing.

Ishan Porel was In­dia's hero with the ball, tak­ing four for 17 in a match the tour­na­ment favourites ut­terly dom­i­nated.

"It was a good per­for­mance from ev­ery­one... we did a re­ally good job," cap­tain Prithvi Shaw said.

It was the Pak­istan youth team's third-low­est to­tal on record, un­der­lin­ing the bat­ting woes of a team that failed to score more than 200 dur­ing the tour­na­ment in New Zealand.

Poor field­ing also un­der­mined Pak­istan's chances as it squan­dered seven run-out chances.

"Un­for­tu­nately our bats­men didn't re­ally per­form and noth­ing re­ally worked out from the start," Pak­istan skip­per Has­san Khan said. "We missed a cou­ple of chances and things didn't re­ally go our way."

The re­sult sees In­dia square off against fel­low heavy­weight Aus­tralia in Satur­day's fi­nal in Tau­ranga.

Both sides have won the tour­na­ment three times, with In­dia win­ning its last ti­tle in 2012 when it de­feated Aus­tralia in the fi­nal.

In­dia is un­beaten in New Zealand, with five con­vinc­ing wins from five matches, in­clud­ing a 100-run win over Aus­tralia in the group stages.

Aus­tralia also looked vul­ner­a­ble in its quar­ter­fi­nal against Eng­land be­fore a record-break­ing eight-wicket spell from leg-spin­ner Lloyd Pope turned the match.

Against Pak­istan, the In­di­ans won the toss and elected to bat first, with open­ers Shaw and Man­jot Kalra scor­ing at bet­ter than a run a ball in the early overs.

Pak­istan's vaunted pace at­tack, which fired them into the fi­nal four, failed to make in­roads as field­ing er­rors saw Kalra dropped twice.

The 89-run open­ing part­ner­ship was fi­nally bro­ken when Shaw was run out for 41, with the TV um­pire rul­ing he failed to ground his bat prop­erly while div­ing for safety.

Kalra de­parted on 47 but In­dia still ap­peared set for a big to­tal un­til pace­man Ar­shad Iqbal slowed their mo­men­tum with three wick­ets in as many overs.

Muham­mad Musa helped mop up the tail, end­ing with fig­ures of four for 67 but Gill con­tin­ued his rich vein of form at the tour­na­ment to en­sure In­dia's to­tal was com­pet­i­tive.

He stead­ied the mid­dle or­der and brought up his 93-ball cen­tury in the fi­nal over, fin­ish­ing on 102 not out.

Pak­istan made a dis­as­trous start, slump­ing to 28 for four as Porel tore through its top or­der. Shaw led the way in the field with two sharply-taken catches.

Only three Pak­istan bats­man reached dou­ble fig­ures, with Ro­hail Nazir top-scor­ing on 18 in a one-sided con­test.

Brief scores: In­dia 272-9 in 50 overs (Shub­man Gill 102 n.o., Man­jot Kalra 47, Prithvi Shaw 41, Ankul Roy 33; Muham­mad Musa 4-67, Ar­shad Iqbal 3-51) beat Pak­istan 69 all out in 29.3 overs (Ro­hail Nazir 18; Ishan Porel 4-17, Riyan Parag 2-6, Shiva Singh 2-20).

In­dia play­ers cel­e­brate a Pak­istan bats­man dis­missal dur­ing the U19 semi­fi­nal cricket World Cup match in Christchurch, New Zealand on Tues­day

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