Yashasvi Jaiswal scored a sublime century as India's openers made short work of the target set by Pakistan to book a place in the final of the ICC Under-19 World Cup. After India's bowlers again put on a brilliant display, restricting Pakistan to just 172, Jaiswal and fellow left-handed opener Divyansh Saxena showed utter professionalism as they completed the chase with 88 deliveries remaining in the match. This is the first time that a team has won by 10 wickets in the knockout rounds of the U-19 World Cup. The two of them did not give any opportunity to Pakistan as they put on the highest opening partnership in the tournament. India will now play either Bangladesh or New Zealand in the final on Sunday.
The first innings had everything expected of an India-Pakistan World Cup clash. From a great catch to a hilarious run-out to animated send-offs, the Indian bowlers carried on their confidence from the quarter-final clash against Australia.
Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat first. Sushant Mishra got rid of opener Muhammad Hurraira with a short delivery in his first over and then followed it up with a barrage of bouncers to fellow opener Haider Ali, even hitting him on the shoulder.
Ravi Bishnoi then sent no.3 Fahad Munir packing for a duck after he edged a googly to Atharva Ankolekar.
Pakistan captain Rohail Nazir then joined Haider Ali in the crease and the team's two most experienced batsmen put on a crucial 62-run stand.
But Ali threw away his wicket, trying to cut a long hop from Yashasvi Jaiswal. The ball fell in the hands of Ravi Bishnoi and the match started to slip away from Pakistan as Ali departed for 56.
New batsman Qasim Akram seemed to be forming a good partnership with Nazir, but a comical mix-up ensured that his stay at the crease was short-lived.
Muhammad Haris came in and started to take on the bowlers, but a brilliant catch by Divyansh Saxena started a collapse for Pakistan as they lost six wickets for 26 runs. Captain Nazir was their top scorer with his gritty 62 off 102.
Then came Jaiswal and Saxena, who knew exactly what to do and executed their plan to perfection. The pair was happy to be patient and wait for the runs to come. Both left-handers were measured in their approach and rotated strike excellently.
Once Jaiswal reached his half-century, he started to up the tempo as Saxena slotted into a supporting role. Jaiswal displayed a wide range of strokes - from gorgeous on-drives to powerful sixes, he hit them all.
As Jaiswal marched on, Saxena too reached his half-century.
With three runs needed for the win, Jaiswal smashed his fourth maximum of the night to bring up the century and a huge win for India.
Jaiswal, who finished the match with 105 off 113 deliveries, also became the leading run-scorer in the tournament.
The unbeaten 176-run stand is the highest opening partnership in any U-19 World Cup semi-final.
India will now set sight on the final as they look to defend their crown and win the Under-19 World Cup for the fifth time.