Gill scored 90 not-out © Getty Images
Gill scored 90 not-out © Getty Images

India registered third consecutive victory, proceeding to the quarter-final of the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2018 without losing a match. India thrashed Zimbabwe by 10 wickets on Friday in their final group-stage match. Zimbabwe won the toss at the Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui and elected to bat. However, they were bundled for 154, a total India chased down in 21.2 overs without any loss of wicket. Anukul Roy shone again, bagging 4 wickets while Shubman Gill and Harvik Desai took care of the batting.

Chasing the below-par total, India brought in changes in the batting line-up. Regular openers captain Prithvi Shaw and Manjot Kalra made way for Gill and Desai. This provided India a chance to test their entire line-up. Gill and Desai were off to a slow start (there was no hurry anyway), given they needed to spend more time at the crease and understand the nature of the pitch.

Zimbabwe skipper Liam Roche, an off-spinner, opened bowling himself, but the Indians were not perturbed. Once set, Gill and Desai took off. Zimbabwe’s plans — if any — seemed to vanish. The Indian batsmen were comfortable playing plenty of well-times, glamorous shots throughout their innings. Gill’s timing and clean hitting impressed one and all. He did not get a chance to bat in the Papua New Guinea match but scored his consecutive half-century, the previous one being against Australia. Desai, too, notched up a fifty.

None of the Zimbabwe bowlers managed to extract a chance or even a half-chance. The Indian openers batted flawlessly and without taking any unnecessary risk and took the team to victory with 28.2 overs in hand.

Earlier, Indian bowlers had run through Zimbabwe’s batting to bundle them for 154, their highest team score in this edition of the tournament. Milton Shubha top-scored with 36. Shivam Mavi struck early while Roy ran through the middle- and lower-middle orders.

Brief scores:

Zimbabwe U-19 154 in 48.1 overs (Wesley Madhevere 30, Milton Shumba 36, Liam Roche 31; Shivam Mavi 1 for 30, Arshdeep Singh 2 for 10, Abhishek Sharma 2 for 22, Anukul Roy 4 for 20) lost to India U-19 155 for no loss in 21.4 overs (Shubman Gill 90*, Harvik Desai 56* ; Liam Roche o for 27, Nkosilathi Nungu 0 for 44) by 10 wickets with 170 balls to spare.

Player of the Match: Shubman Gill.