India have won the tournament in 2000 (under Mohammed Kaif), 2008 (Virat Kohli), 2012 (Unmukt Chand) while losing two finals in 2006 (Cheteshwar Pujara) and 2016 (Ishan Kishan).
The immensely talented Shubhman Gill hit classy unbeaten 102 off 94 balls to guide India to 272 for 9 after winning the toss and then seamer Ishan Porel (4/17 in 6 overs) scythed through the Pakistan top-order with a terrific opening spell to help them bowl out for a mere 69 in 29.3 overs.
“It was an outstanding performance from the bowlers as well as the batsmen. I am very satisfied with the performance.I am expecting an exciting contest against Australia in the final. I would also like to thank the crowd for their support,” skipper Prithvi Shaw said after the match.
The concerns whether multi crore IPL deals will be a distraction proved to be unfounded as ‘Boys in Blue’ followed their guru Rahul Dravid’s instructions to the ‘T’ — that World Cup semifinals is once in a lifetime opportunity while auctions happen every year.
Dravid’s boys will now take on Australia in the summit clash on February 3 in what will be a repeat of the 2012 edition which India won in Australia.