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Dream come true: Yashasvi Jaiswal after heroics vs Pakistan in U19 World Cup semi-final

Yashasvi Jaiswal said he had realised a long-cherished dream after his unbeaten 105 helped India crush Pakistan by 10 wickets in the semi-final of the 2020 U19 World Cup Potchefstroom on Tuesday.

Yashasvi Jaiswal is now the 4th batsman to score a hundred in the semi-finals of the U19 World Cup. Incidentally, all 3 players to hit semi-final hundreds before Jaiswal were also Indians.

Yashasvi Jaiswal shared a 176-run stand for the opening wicket with Divyaansh Saxena as India reached the final of the U19 World Cup for the 7th time. This is the third successive final for defending champions India in the tournament.

Not surprisingly, Yashasvi Jaiswal was named man-of-the-match for his 105 not out. He had also picked the crucial wicket of Haider Ali earlier in the day.

“It’s a dream come true for me. To be able to do this for my country is a great feeling. To score a hundred against Pakistan in a World cup semi-final is something I can’t put into words. We were talking about how we needed to stick at the wicket.

“They bowled well initially and we wanted to ride that out and we knew we could dominate them after that.

“It’s a lot of hard work for all of us, the support staff, the management. They put in efforts, and I appreciate all Indian supporters and every Indian who prays for us,” Jaiswal told the broadcasters in the post-match presentation ceremony.

Ravneet Ricky was the first player to achieve the feat against Australia in 2000 while Cheteshwar Pujara, India’s No.3 in Tests now, hit a hundred in the 2006 semi-final against England.

Shubman Gill, who has been included in the Test squad for the two matches against New Zealand, had scored an unbeaten 102, also against Pakistan, in the semi-final of the 2018 U19 World Cup.

Yashasvi Jaiswal had grabbed headlines in the lead-up to the U19 World Cup this year. The teenager, who once lived in a tent and sold paani puris, smashed a double hundred in the Vijay Hazare Trophy before bagging a Rs 2.40 crore contract with Rajasthan Royals in the player auction for the 2020 Indian Premier League.

Before the semi-final, Yashasvi Jaiswal had hit 3 fifties in 4 innings in the U19 World Cup but his moment of reckoning came in the semi-final against arch-rivals Pakistan.

India pacers Sushant Mishra, Kartik Tyagi and leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi had ensured Pakistan were bundled out for 172. In response, Jaiswal led a splendid chase and with opening partner, Divyaansh Saxena did not give Pakistan a sniff as India romped home.

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