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World Cup U-19: Yashasvi Jaiswal’s ton against Pakistan takes India to final

India opener Yashasvi Jaiswal, who smashed a match-winning hundred against Pakistan in 2020 Under-19 World Cup semi-final, said, "We watched a short video from Rahul Dravid sir who motivated us."

India crushed Pakistan by ten wickets in a lopsided semi-final to book a spot in the final of the ongoing ICC U-19 World Cup on Tuesday. After bundling out Pakistan for a paltry total of 172 runs, Indian openers Yashasvi Jaiswal and Divyansh Saxena combined to make light work of the chase. The duo took the Pakistan bowlers to the cleaners with a brilliant unbeaten stand of 176 runs to wrap up a comfortable win for India.

Jaiswal, who has been in terrific form in the showpiece event, continued his stellar run with the willow to notch up a sensational century. He slammed unbeaten 105 runs off 113 balls laced with seven fours and three sixes and completed his century with a huge six off Aamir Ali in the 36th over. Saxena played a second-fiddle with a brilliant 59 not out off 99 deliveries with the help of six fours. The unbeaten 176-run stand between the duo is the highest partnership ever in a U-19 World Cup semi-final.

It was expected to be a cracker of a contest between the arch-rivals who headed into the semi-final encounter unbeaten. However, Jaiswal and Saxena had different plans as they thrashed the Pakistani bowlers all around the park in a sublime display of batsmanship under immense pressure. The duo looked unfazed through their match-winning stand and sealed the deal for India with 14.5 overs to spare.

With the dominant ten-wicket win, India became the first finalist of the ongoing U-19 World Cup. This is India’s third successive final and seventh overall in the showpiece event. India are the defending champions of the current edition and will be meeting the winner of the second semi-final between New Zealand and Bangladesh in the final.

Pakistan captain Rohali Nazir won the toss and opted to bat first in the must-win encounter. The decision backfired for Pakistan as Indian pacers wreaked havoc with the Kartik Tyagi and Shushant Mishra picking up two wickets each. Haider Ali (56) and captain Nazir (62) slammed respective half-centuries and showed great maturity under pressure to pull things back for Pakistan.

They added 62 runs for the third wicket before Indian bowlers made a strong comeback and skittled out the lower-order quickly. Pakistan were bundled out for a paltry total of 172 runs and India chased down the target without breaking a sweat. Jaiswal and Saxena started out cautiously before launching an all-out attack on the Pakistan bowlers.

On 99, when many would have expected him to go for a single to complete his century, Jaiswal slammed a huge six off Ali and brought up his hundred in style while also confirming India’s spot in the final. The four-time champions will now aim to bag their fifth title when they take the field in the final on February 09.

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