Pakistan v South Africa, Under-19 World Cup, Final

Battle of bowlers in gripping final match-up

Kanishkaa Balachandran in Dubai

February 28, 2014

Comments: 94 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

March 1, 2014
Start time 1200 local (0800 GMT)

Imam-ul-Haq plays off one hand, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, quarter-final, Under-19 World Cup, Sharjah, February 22, 2014
Imam-ul-Haq, Pakistan's top run-getter, is likely to recover from a hamstring injury to play the final © ICC

Big Picture

When South Africa Under-19s coach Ray Jennings spoke before the World Cup began, he got one prediction right and another wrong. He was confident his team would make the final, which they have. He also expected to meet India in it. He was wrong on that count. Their opponents are Pakistan, two-time winners of the U-19 World Cup and practically on 'home' turf in the UAE. The defending champions India being knocked out in the quarters hasn't devalued the rest of the tournament by any means for the final promises a close contest between two good bowling sides.

It's been a bowlers' tournament and the player Pakistan will be keeping an eye on is Kagiso Rabada. He was at his optimum best against Australia in the semi-final with 6 for 25 and had rattled West Indies at the start of the tournament. Rabada's strength is raw pace and bounce and his impact has been all the more telling because he has felled teams that would have faced bowlers of his speed in the nets back home on bouncier pitches. Pakistan's batsmen would have faced raw quicks back at home too, but doing so in a tournament final is a different story.

Rabada's their quickest and their other seam options include Justin Dill and Corbin Bosch, slower in pace but effective. The captain Aiden Markram called Dill a "clever cricketer" who can "assess batsmen quickly." Yaseen Valli's left-arm spin lends variety and the South African attack appears better all-round. Markram too has been leading from the front with two centuries at the top.

Pakistan's strength is spin, with their duo of Karamat Ali and Zafar Gohar expected to be a threat on a used pitch in Dubai. Zia-ul-Haq leads the pace attack and it was his accuracy that stood out in the semi-final against England.

Pakistan have been powered by strong starts by their openers Sami Aslam and Imam-ul-Haq, who have added stands of 109, 125 and 177 in this tournament. However, their middle order hasn't been tested as much and could be exposed if the top order has a rare failure, like in the semi-final. It came down to Gohar and Amad Butt to cover the slack. While it reflected the team's depth, the middle order would want to step up.

South Africa have never won an U-19 World Cup and their only world title remains the ICC knockout in 1998 in Bangladesh. Having not dropped a single game so far, a defeat in the final will bring up the dreaded 'chokers' tag. Though it's a tag that has been used time and again with the senior team, Markram said the juniors could do their bit to get rid of that dubious honour. "The tag is unfortunate with the senior team," he said. "But it really hasn't fazed us, in fact it motivates us to we can get rid of that name from our country."

Road to final

South Africa - beat West Indies by 94 runs, beat Canada by 45 runs, beat Zimbabwe by seven wickets, beat Afghanistan by nine wickets (quarter-final), Australia by 80 runs (semi-final)

Pakistan - lost to India by 40 runs, beat PNG by 145 runs, beat Scotland by 146 runs, beat Sri Lanka by 121 runs (quarter-final), beat England by three wickets (semi-final)

Players to watch

Yaseen Valli has been one of the standout allrounders in the tournament, with 239 runs including century and nine wickets in five games. Valli bats in the middle order and has shown maturity in rescuing the side when in trouble. He can also be relied upon with innovative hitting late in the innings, as he showed against West Indies and Australia. Valli had captained the side before the tournament and has been of assistance to Markram. "He plays a massive leadership role as well," Markram said. He is a calm and composed guy and not a lot affects him. He is a guy we back when there is a bit of panic in the group."

Karamat Ali has been Pakistan's most consistent bowler in the tournament, with 11 wickets in five games with an economy rate of just 3.82. The legspinner has picked up wickets in every game, with a best of 5 for 36 against Scotland. He has played all his U-19 internationals in the UAE and is more than familiar with the conditions. Given that the spinners have been difficult to get away in Dubai, his role will be crucial in tightening up one end, even if the wickets don't come.

Team news

Imam injured his hamstring while batting during the semi-final but Aslam sounded optimistic about the left-hander's availability after he had batted in the nets and was assessed by the doctor. Pakistan will need him to be fit since he's their leading run-scorer.

Pakistan Under-19s (likely) 1 Sami Aslam (capt), 2 Imam-ul-Haq, 3 Hasan Raza, 4 Saud Shakeel, 5 Kamran Ghulam, 6 Ameer Hamza, 7 Saifullah Khan (wk), 8 Zafar Gohar, 9 Amad Butt, 10 Karamat Ali, 11 Zia-ul-Haq

Markram didn't hint at team changes though it remains to be seen if they will play the extra spinner in Dirk Bruwer, who was miserly when opening the bowling against Australia.

South Africa Under-19s (likely) 1 Aiden Markram (capt), 2 Clyde Fortuin (wk), 3 Kirwin Christoffels, 4 Greg Oldfield, 5 Corbin Bosch, 6 Yaseen Valli, 7 Bradley Dial, 8 Jason Smith, 9 Dirk Bruwer, 10 Kagiso Rabada, 11 Justin Dill

Stats and trivia

  • Imam-ul-Haq is currently second in the run-scorer's list with 370, with Shadman Islam leading with 406 runs. Markram is third with 304

  • Rabada needs three more wickets to overtake Anuk Fernando (15) as the leading wicket-taker

  • The average first-innings score in Dubai (DSC) in this tournament is 218

  • Pakistan's top order averages 49.80 but for the middle order, the numbers drop to 20.42


    "We have practiced a lot of fielding. Because of it, our fielding was excellent in the last two or three matches."
    Sami Aslam

    "We don't have any superstars in our team. We don't have any first-class players and I think that works to our favour because each day is a new chance for another individual to take responsibility and win us games."
    Aiden Markram on what makes his team click

  • Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

    RSS Feeds: Kanishkaa Balachandran

    © ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

    Posted by zakar12 on (March 1, 2014, 13:45 GMT)

    Ah singhh1699. Grapes sour much ?

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 11:28 GMT)

    Pakistan Under 19 Team Repeated History of World Cup 1999 Final Against Australia With 1 Run Short. Can Pakistan Defend this Total is big Task???

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 10:26 GMT)

    to some extent i agree with @maruf but the reason is not that Pakistan is short of talent if anything this soil has produced and will keep producing some of the best.the problem lies with no infrastructure with bad management.the day they run it like Pakistan cricket plc with honest forward thinking ppl on top,they will flourish.

    Posted by wapuser on (March 1, 2014, 10:00 GMT)

    Inshallah pakistan will show you what is talent Mr marof khan sahbbbbbb

    Posted by ifti71 on (March 1, 2014, 9:57 GMT)

    Pakistan's Batting performance is consistent regardless of under19 or over 19 teams. Pakistan's cricket future batsmen are following the footsteps of current batsmen.

    Posted by wapuser on (March 1, 2014, 9:49 GMT)

    Ah pak under19 team exposed they jus came by luck in world cup final. Hope Africa wins. I don't think thy are having such a bad talents.Right now thy exploring their wickets.

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 9:46 GMT) match wil b over in next 1 hour.

    Posted by wapuser on (March 1, 2014, 9:11 GMT)

    Short of talent Pakistan team.if will today only by luck .Will like to see south Africa wins as thy deserves this world cup.

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 8:53 GMT)

    Rough start by Pak, come on guys. We need big total

    Posted by wapuser on (March 1, 2014, 8:34 GMT)

    Pak eagles will show the picture to big three&co.

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 8:32 GMT)

    Good Luck Shaheens

    Posted by wapuser on (March 1, 2014, 8:23 GMT)

    Pakistani eagles should win yet again

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 8:09 GMT)

    Hopefully good final ....

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 7:57 GMT)

    Non other then PAK will win

    Posted by wapuser on (March 1, 2014, 7:56 GMT)

    Its a crunch. ..All these players are the future entertainers & the stars of tomorrow as well. .so let enjoy the match and support those who play well..

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 7:54 GMT)

    good luck Team Pakistan,,,,,

    Posted by Abaa on (March 1, 2014, 7:36 GMT)

    A South African cricket team making it to a global competition final? Wow will wonders never cease :o) Would love to see them win ... Hopefully that would instill some confidence in to the senior side! Can't wait to see Rabada play for the senior side soon imagine what working with Steyn, Morkel and Philander can do for his future

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 7:33 GMT)

    good luck pak19, dnt worry u ll win, go ahead

    Posted by wapuser on (March 1, 2014, 7:22 GMT)

    Truth is no good telant in this pak under19 team. Pak crckt is in really in bad shape and no good bads and bowler's. Same as senior like hafeez who can't bat after 10 yrs of cricket.

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 7:20 GMT)

    I think toss will be crucial in this match. Any thing more than 200 will be difficult to chase for other team as both teams are having best bowling attacks of the tournament.

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 7:20 GMT)

    Both teams are my favorites! But Pakistan is gonna take this final IA!

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 7:19 GMT)

    Good luck SA youngsters. .. make us proud.

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 7:15 GMT)

    inshAllah pakistan under 19 will won the under 19 world cup for the year 2014

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 7:07 GMT)

    un 19s winner is south africa

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 7:07 GMT)

    good luck to both teams, may the best team on the day win. Go baby Proteas.

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 7:06 GMT)

    insha allah pakistan win

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 7:05 GMT)

    my hope and best wishes always with pakistan cricket team you all youngsters best of luck for your future,,,,

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 7:00 GMT)

    which team win doesn't matter, but i think today will be a single sided match. As Pakistani suppoter, i wish Pakistan win INSHAH ALLAH

    Posted by by_the_numbers on (March 1, 2014, 6:58 GMT)

    @ everyone on this page. I am a South African fan living in the US. I am also an avid reader of cricinfo because I have nobody to talk cricket with. It is really a pleasure to read these comments and see the respect that the two sets of fans show for both teams. Let their teams' cricket do the talking and may the team that plays better win. Our countries have had a great year of cricket with Pakistan winning an ODI series in SA which is, I believe a first for an Asian team. I have always played hard and after the game, socialized with my opponents no matter who won. It was refreshing to hear, for example, Ajmal acknowledge AB after AB had pounded his bowling. You cheer for your own team, but acknowledge good play by the opposition. Let's hope our two "little countries" maintain the spirit of the game and restore some meaning to the expression, "It's not cricket". Thank you for your civilized comments both sets of fans. I hope they don't put this on page ??? after my post.

    Posted by wapuser on (March 1, 2014, 6:47 GMT)

    Inshallah pakistan win this match inshallah

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 6:47 GMT)

    I love you my Pakistan. Inshallah you will win

    Posted by Master_uv_Puppetz on (March 1, 2014, 6:37 GMT)

    Mr. Writer, your article seems more like and assessment report on South Africa's chances of winning rather than a preview. Pakistan didn't shoot ducks to reach the finals and neither are they predictable enough to be written off. They are a strong team and Insha Allah will win :)

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 6:25 GMT)

    @greatest_game.....wel said man.i totaly agree. :-D

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 6:18 GMT)

    inshallah pakistan will win the final match

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 6:12 GMT)

    well pakistan has this strange habit of beating the unbeaten and i hope they do the same here like wt20 09. good luck pakistan, one thing is sure it will be a well contested game.

    Posted by Samer9 on (March 1, 2014, 6:11 GMT)

    Best Wishes With Pakistan.

    pakistan Today's Winner INSHA ALLAH.


    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 6:11 GMT)

    Good luck both green teams..pig 3 out ...espn is not giving respect to this final but pig 3 is aware of it the both green teams have best cricket talent is in the world ...

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 6:07 GMT)

    Who wins does not matter, but it will be full of entertainment for sure. My good wishes are with Pakistan.

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 6:02 GMT)

    Insha Allah pakistan U19 will won the world cup 2014 and shown a message to the world that come in pakistan and play cricket........

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 5:58 GMT)

    see thats the result of monopoly of big three they all are out from the final Good luck for Pakistan

    Posted by zakar12 on (March 1, 2014, 5:57 GMT)

    Good luck to Pakistan U19 team for the final in am. Both teams have very talented youngsters playing tomorrow so should be a great match.

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 5:48 GMT)

    Pak should try all its spinners, even the part time ones if there is any assistance from the used deck!! Good luck Pakistan!

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 5:48 GMT)

    good luck Green shirts.

    Posted by ---S.R.K--- on (March 1, 2014, 5:44 GMT)

    PAK in full confident so my wishes with PAK they will win the cup. Seeeeena Taaaaan Pakistan!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 5:43 GMT)

    insha'ALLAH Pakistan will win...

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 5:41 GMT)

    insh Allah pak will win...our young guns will lift the cup....sory for the super powers who r kicked out...!! duhhh GO GREEN....

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 5:37 GMT)

    y3w offcourse even full coverage and articles are given for indians in the quarter finals no coverage for pakistan in semi finals like they can do cheating but they cannot grab our telant really.pakistan have the edge our south africa because condition suits to pakistan.good luck pakistan .

    Posted by SHER-A-PANJAB on (March 1, 2014, 5:18 GMT)

    SA team should bat first . I think pitch curator will help to Pak team making a spin track . Don't worry SA ,you can make it .........Good luck SA ........carry on Jennings !

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 5:16 GMT)

    Good luck for both teams b/s both play very well in the tournament they reached into the finals to beat others and all the kids are very well & hope most of these kids will represent their national side

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 5:12 GMT)

    very well said tommy...

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 5:08 GMT)

    Good Luck Pakistan...

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 5:02 GMT)


    Posted by mensan on (March 1, 2014, 4:54 GMT)

    Pakistan must play Rabada short balls well. This weakness was exploted by England in semi-fina but thankfully Zafar and Amad rescued them.

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 4:52 GMT)

    U-19 WC shows that big three is only pig three. It is a combination of greedy .........

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 4:45 GMT)

    Insha Allah Pakistan will win the title of U-19 WC and will prove that without Pakistan international cricket is charmless. Good luck Pak team.

    Posted by mzeeshan772 on (March 1, 2014, 4:31 GMT)

    Good luck team Pakistan u have really made us proud

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 4:17 GMT)

    Its gonna be a good match, both are pretty much balanced in some aspects, Pakistan got the edge of Spinner but on the other hand South Africa is powered by their bowling attack, there is gonna b a good cricket for fans of cricket..

    Posted by Shouldas-Wouldas-Couldas on (March 1, 2014, 2:54 GMT)

    Battle-hardened Pakistan will be tough to beat today. Pakistani boys showed nerves of steel to lower the colors of England in semis. Green Shirts are peaking a right time. Both top & lower order batting have been impressive and their bowling (esp. spinners) have enough fire power to dismantle any batting line up. The Proteas will rely heavily on Kagiso Rabada to inflict early damage and Pakistan will definitely need see him off. Go Pak Go - ya beauty !

    Posted by Greatest_Game on (March 1, 2014, 2:39 GMT)

    When SA U19 beat Australia the story did not even make the cricinfo front page! England or India lose a game and it is a banner headline! SA and Pak NEVER get the respect they deserve. We can take solace i the fact that the so-called "Big 3" must be spitting blood and choking that the "Little Two who Do" are meeting in the final.

    From this South African, I am proud that we are playing our good friends Pakistan in the final. The senior teams gave us a great year of cricket, and not too the juniors are doing their countries proud. May the best team win, but there will be no loser, for we have both shown the "big powers" where cricket's real power lies: Pakistan & South Africa.

    Both teams wear green Both teams bleed green. Both teams, & countries, are champions. Good luck, friends.

    Still, of course, I hope we win the match ;))

    Posted by Ishtiyaqrasool on (March 1, 2014, 1:48 GMT)

    Itz so disgusting to see the mention of the megatournament on the bottom of the page! And the reason is clear that pakistan is playing the final. If it would have been india this article would have likely overshadowed the buzzing Asia cup articles. Come on cricinfo lets be optimistic.

    Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 1:48 GMT)

    In shah Allah Pakistan win the final

    Posted by wapuser on (March 1, 2014, 1:48 GMT)

    Well said guys India got knocked out hahaha

    Posted by PAKCOP on (March 1, 2014, 1:15 GMT)

    No coverage for this Final. Big 3 out of the tournament .... Is this what we will be facing in future? No coverage if Big 3 are cooked.

    Posted by chacha_crickut on (March 1, 2014, 0:17 GMT)

    India loses early and suddenly the coverage for the whole tourney is phased out...

    Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 23:21 GMT)

    So much sport to watch! Really spoilt for choice. I am looking forward to enjoying watching Kagiso Rabada! South Africa must take good care of this young man, 140 kph from this young man is really exciting. I hope SA wins a good game v. a talented group of Pakistanis

    Posted by pipsonian on (February 28, 2014, 23:05 GMT)

    After the demise of Saeed A and Aamir S, i never thought i would see the day when Pakistani openers would provide us with century stands on regular occasions. I guess the fortunes are reversing as India is getting some fast bowlers (Aaron V, he is at least fast and M Shami) on their side, Pakistan is starting to produce some good batsmen i.e U Akmal, Sharjeel K, Ahmad Shahzad and then these two young openers.

    Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 23:01 GMT)


    Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 21:53 GMT)

    If india england or aus would be in stream might be this final blow the top gears ,anyway bless the team pakistan n regards for KSA too

    Posted by Sudhir65 on (February 28, 2014, 21:34 GMT)

    For me the semi final match between SA and Australia was the virtual final. SA pacers just too good. This kid Rabada is unbelievable.

    As far as Pak, I think they are lucky to be in final as Eng self destructed in the semis.

    Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 21:33 GMT)

    inshaha alkaha pak will win.

    Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 21:04 GMT)

    prediction told SA reached the final but not win

    Posted by ramtheruler on (February 28, 2014, 20:55 GMT)

    I would like to see my Pakistani brothers win this tour, but in all fairness SA has been the best side and they haven't lost any match, so i think SA will win the cup convincingly!

    Posted by Cric_fever_notgoingdown on (February 28, 2014, 20:53 GMT)

    i sure be watching this game tom.. a break to asia cup match.... all the pak young boys tom best of luck to both teams... cricketing wise both are my fav of there arsenal they have at any level!!!

    Posted by Shahz999 on (February 28, 2014, 20:10 GMT)

    Some indian cricketers might also come to watch the match (i think). Cricinfo, NOW PLEASE GIVE IT A BETTER COVERAGE! I really had to struggle to find this match on cricinfo mobile app.

    Posted by sixeeeers on (February 28, 2014, 20:07 GMT)

    Good Luck TEAM PAKISTAN!!!! We will win this match inshAllah...

    Posted by sixeeeers on (February 28, 2014, 20:04 GMT)

    India is not in the finals. thts why cricinfo is giving very minimum coverage...

    Posted by haq33 on (February 28, 2014, 19:52 GMT)

    Very happy to see an all green final. Bye bye big 3.

    Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 19:30 GMT)

    what do you expect, pakistan is doing well. Ofcoarse there is minimum amount of coverage.

    Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (February 28, 2014, 19:24 GMT)

    @Muhammad Ali Bashir Its because India is not in the finals. If India were in the finals, this article would be front page with lots of fanfare, bells and whistles.

    Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (February 28, 2014, 19:23 GMT)

    God Willing, South Africa will win.

    Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 18:38 GMT)

    Iam surprised at the inimum coverage this event is getting. I would have expected a lot more from Cricinfo.

    Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 18:32 GMT)

    Good luck team Pakistan....

    Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (February 28, 2014, 18:24 GMT)

    Good luck bite have a fabulous game.. Good luck team Pakistan

    Posted by Dilbar786 on (February 28, 2014, 17:44 GMT)

    Good luck Humwatano, you hav already made us proud.

    Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 17:31 GMT)

    Pakistan will win this match

    Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 17:27 GMT)

    insh Allah pak will win...our young guns will lift the cup....sooorryyy for the super powers who r kicked out....

    Posted by bbmm on (February 28, 2014, 17:09 GMT)

    inshaallah pak will win...............

    Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 17:07 GMT)

    Pakistan Defence is very good And South African bowlers are on the peak . List see how Pakistan reach on the Peak ?

    Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 16:58 GMT)

    nshallah Pakistan will win the cup. Good luck Pakistan

    Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 16:42 GMT)

    Best of Luck boys and make it 3rd U19 World Cup for Pakistan

    Posted by   on (February 28, 2014, 16:34 GMT)

    Good luck Pakistan :)

    -Diehard Pakistani Fan from India

    Posted by Saadcricketlover on (February 28, 2014, 16:10 GMT)

    Inshallah Pakistan will win the cup. Best of luck. I wanna see contribution from every individual player that's how we will win inshallah.

    Posted by SurlyCynic on (February 28, 2014, 15:56 GMT)

    Good to see the 'small 2' leading the way with the best young talent. May the best team win, will be switching between this game and the test.

    Posted by ZAB2121 on (February 28, 2014, 15:36 GMT)

    Good Luck Pakistan's U19 Team. You are a generation of confidence, power and brain.

    Comments have now been closed for this article

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    Kanishkaa BalachandranClose
    Tournament Results
    Pakistan U19 v S Africa U19 at Dubai (DSC) - Mar 1, 2014
    S Africa U19 won by 6 wickets (with 47 balls remaining)
    Aust U19 v England U19 at Dubai (CA) - Feb 28, 2014
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    B'desh U19 won by 77 runs
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