Babar Azam leads Pakistan Under-19s to victory
Pakistan U19s 190 for 4 (Azam 79 not out) beat Australia U19s 187 (Patterson 83, Nawaz 3 for 36) by six wickets
A half-century from captain and opening batsman Babar Azam led Pakistan Under-19s to a six-wicket win over Australia Under-19s at Gold Coast. The visitors reached the target of 188 with four overs to spare, after the Australians had stuttered in their innings despite an 83 from Kurtis Patterson. Pakistan lead the three-match Youth ODI series 1-0 as they prepare for the Under-19 World Cup, which begins on August 11.
Azam scored 79 off 121 balls to control Pakistan's chase, building partnerships of 80 each with Imam-ul-Haq and Umar Waheed for the second and third wicket. Sami Aslam, Pakistah's other opener, had departed early but Australia could not consolidate with further inroads. Pakistan accelerated towards the second half of the innings - the third-wicket stand took only 13.4 overs - and safely reached the target.
"[Pakistan's] captain, who opened the batting today, was very solid all day and kept the batting ticking over," William Bosisto, the Australian captain, said.
Unlike Pakistan, Australia's innings lacked steadiness. Although Patterson tried to hold his side together, wickets continued to fall at the other end. A 67-run stand for the fourth wicket between Patterson and Bosisto was the only partnership of any substance. Left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz took 3 for 36.
"I think Kurtis Patterson batted really well at No. 3 today and was the mainstay of our innings and also scored quite quickly. We just needed a few other batters to bat around him to get the score up to around the 220-230 mark," Bosisto said. "Bowling wise Pakistan have got a lot of spinners who were quite accurate and difficult to score from."
The second Youth ODI is on July 31.