Batsman Shubman Gill, who hammered a 94-ball 102 to lay the foundation for India's mammoth victory over Pakistan in the ICC Under-19 World Cup semi-final, said it was a special feeling to hit a century against the arch-rivals. Riding on Gill's ton, India thrashed Pakistan by 203 runs and entered the final of the U-19 cricket World Cup. India will now meet Australia in the summit clash on February 3.
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.
"This innings is really special to me. There was a lot of pressure before this match, lot of nerves going on and specially the game was against Pakistan," Gill, the Man of the Match, said in the post-match press conference.
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.
Gill said he wasn't thinking much about the pressure and was just looking to play one ball at a time.
"There was not too much going into my mind, I was just thinking that there are not too many batsmen left at that time. So, I was taking one ball at a time. We didn't want to get bowled out, we were just rotating the strike and not going for the big hits," he said.
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.
Praising Gill's and the bowlers, captain Prithvi Shaw said: "I think our bowlers bowled really well. They have been consistent throughout this tournament and in the batting also if you see, right from the opening batsmen till the middle order, they are doing their job, specially Gill. It was a fantastic innings from him today, it really helped us."
"Ishan is our wicket-taking bowler. He has made a great comeback after getting injured in the first game of the tournament. He is looking in good rhythm now," he added.
Shaw also revealed that Gill, who seems to be a quite character off the field, was indeed the prankster of the team.
"He [Gill] is a fun character off the field, plays a lot of pranks and keeps everyone happy. He has great intensity on the field," Shaw said.