Under-19 World Cup 2004 February 15, 2004

Pakistan pound Papua New Guinea

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Group A Sri Lanka U19 162 for 8 (Kulasekara 37*) beat Zimbabwe 161 (Maharoof 4-28) by two wickets

The relief is plain to see as New Zealand sneak to a two-wicket victory over Bangladesh

Farveez Maharoof put in a captain's performance to sweep through Zimbabwe's batting order with figures of 4 for 28, as Sri Lanka got off to a winning start in Bogra. After winning the toss and choosing to bowl first, Maharoof justified his decision by topping and tailing a disappointing innings. Only two Zimbabwean batsmen made an impression. Sean Williams top-scored with 47 and Colin de Grandhomme chipped in with 41, while the No. 10 Tinashe Panyangara gave the innings a late flourish with 23 from 35 balls.

A target of 162 was never looked like being enough to stop Sri Lanka, but when Elton Chigumbura got in on the act, an upset was suddenly on the cards. Chigumbura's medium-pacers had Sri Lanka in a muddle, and they slumped to 65 for 6. But Kosela Kulasekara and Gihan de Silva added 83 for the seventh wicket to stem the jitters.

Group B England U19 192 for 2 (Davies 78*) beat Nepal U19 191 (Vesawkar 82) by eight wickets

England eased to a comfortable eight-wicket victory over Nepal at the MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong, but not before Sarad Vesawakar had battled his way to 82 to ensure England would be set a competitive target of 192. Vesawakar lacked support, however, and Nepal had slumped to 102 for 6 before Manoj Katuwal came to his country's aid with an unbeaten 30. The pick of England's six bowlers was Samit Patel, who took 1 for 15 in his ten overs.

In reply England lost their captain Alastair Cook for 9, but Ravinder Bopara and Steven Davies added 124 for the second wicket to break the back of the run-chase. Bopara eventually fell for 59, but Davies finished unbeaten on 78, as he and Patel secured the victory with seven overs to spare.

Group C New Zealand U19 204 for 8 (McKay 40*) beat Bangladesh U19 202 (Smith 4-43) by two wickets

Bangladesh were left to rue a disastrous batting collapse, as their Under-19 World Cup campaign got off to a losing start at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka. Bangladesh's opponents, New Zealand, eventually squeaked home by two wickets with just four balls to spare, thanks to an unbeaten 40 from the Man of the Match, Sam McKay.

But the story might have been very different if Bangladesh had managed to bat out their full quota of overs. Instead, having reached a very promising 170 for 4, they lost their last six wickets for 32, to be bowled out for 202 with 21 balls remaining. Craig Smith was New Zealand's enforcer, with 4 for 43. In the field, Bangladesh started urgently, and at 46 for 3 in the 20th over, the Kiwis were wobbling. But Anton Devcich's rapid 36 gave them back a semblance of control ... although it was a little close for comfort.

Group D Pakistan U19 63 for 2 beat Papua New Guinea U19 60 (Riaz Afridi 4-15) by eight wickets

Over 6000 people turned out to watch a rather one-sided encounter, as the Pacific islanders of Papua New Guinea were bundled out for 60 by Pakistan at the Khulna Divisional Stadium.

The damage was done by Pakistan's opening bowlers Riaz Afridi (4 for 15) and Wahab Riaz (2 for 27). Monsoor Amzad then wrapped up the innings with three wickets in only 11 balls. Pakistan needed just 14.5 overs to reach their modest target - exactly three overs less than the PNG innings.