Pankaj Shaw, father of Indian U-19 skipper Prithvi Shaw, has heaped praises on the Men in Blue’s all-round performance after they stormed into the finals of the ICC Under-19 World Cup, following their thumping win over archrivals Pakistan.
Three-time champions India marched into their sixth final at the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup with a facile 203 runs victory over Pakistan in the second semi-final clash at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
Ecstatic with the victory, Pankaj said that batsmen performed really well especially Shubman Gill before adding that the fielding and bowling was equally good.
“I am feeling very happy that our kids played well against Pakistan. We have beaten them by 203 runs. Everyone batted really well especially Shubman Gill, who performed really well in the middle. Our opening was also good. Prithvi and Manjot Kalra added 90 runs for the opening wicket. India’s fielding and bowling attack was also good. So, I am feeling really good. They have a coach like Rahul Dravid. I don’t need to add anything further,” Pankaj told ANI.
Shubman Gill capitalized on his fine form to struck an unbeaten knock of 102 runs as India posted 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.
Reflecting on Shubman’s century, his mother, Keerat Kaur Gill, said that she was happy to see his son’s ton coming in India’s victory.
“The whole family is very happy that Shubman hit a century today and contributed to the Indian team’s victory. We are very happy with the fact that the Kolkata Knight Riders team have given him the chance to represent the side in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
We hope that he continues to play in the same way as he has performed so far and always give his best,” Gill said.
Shubman’s father, Lakhvinder Singh Gill, echoed similar views as he said, “Yes, I am feeling very happy. They have beaten Pakistan by 203 runs. All the players have performed exceedingly well. He has also contributed in India’s victory that is why we are feeling really glad.”
Gill had recently been bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction for a whopping Rs 1.8 crore.
Gill took charge after openers Manjot Kalra (47, 59b, 7×4) and Prithvi Shaw (41, 42b, 3×4, 1×6) 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.
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 quarterfinals. 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.
In the final match in Tauranga on February 3, India will lock horns with 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.