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Vijay Hazare Trophy: U-19 star Shubman Gill stars in Punjab's thrilling win over Karnataka

The 18-year old Gill scored his maiden first-class hundred in the Group A encounter between Punjab and Karnataka of Vijay Hazare Trophy on Sunday.

Written by: Aditya Chauhan , New Delhi [ Updated: February 11, 2018 20:04 IST ]
Image Source : ICC/TWITTER A file image of Shubman Gill during ICC U-19 World Cup 2018

After impressing everybody with his batting brilliance in the recently-concluded ICC U-19 World Cup, Shubman Gill has continued his purple patch for his stateside Punjab in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy. The 18-year old scored his maiden first-class hundred in the Group A encounter between Punjab and Karnataka on Sunday. He played a brilliant unbeaten knock of 123 off 122 balls that included eight boundaries and six huge maximums. 

Courtesy Shubman's ton, Punjab managed to post a good total of 269 on board while batting first against Karnataka. Chasing 270 to win, Karnataka put up a brave fight but failed to finish the match in their favour and lost the game by 4 runs. The home side looked in control as long the stylish KL Rahul was at the crease who hammered a brilliant hundred in the match. Rahul was also involved in an even 100-run partnership with Pavan Deshpande (53). However, the exit of Deshpande pegged Karnataka back. Rahul fell with 21 runs to go but skipper Vinay Kumar's 26 couldn't take the team over the line.

Regular fall of wickets from the other end also allowed the visitors to mount a comeback in what seemed like a victory for Karnataka.Karnataka continues to top the table with 10 points from four games, while Railways, Punjab, Odisha and Baroda have eight points each. Railways, Odisha and Baroda have played three games while Karnataka and Punjab have played four matches each.

Before the ICC U-19 World Cup 2018 in New Zealand, not many were familiar with the batting prowess of Punjab’s top-order player Shubman Gill. However, his unbeaten 102-run knock against Pakistan in the semifinals put his name in the top bracket alongside India's U-19 skipper Prithvi Shaw.

The 18-year-old Gill was not only named Player-of-the-Series for aggregating 372 runs in six matches in the tournament. The Fazilka-born batsman has been hailed as one of the most exciting future prospects for India. Gill's strokeplay has been compared with that of India captain Virat Kohli.

During the Player Auction in January, Shubman surprised everybody as he bagged a lucrative deal in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL).  Shubman was bought by Shah Rukh Khan-owned franchise Knight Riders for a whopping INR 1.80 crores. After getting the contract, Gill expressed his joy in the social media and took to Twitter to share a delightful message for the KKR fraternity and their fans from around the globe.

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