Pakistan v South Africa, U-19 World Cup final, Dubai March 1, 2014

SA breeze to maiden World Cup title


South Africa Under-19s 134 for 4 (Markram 66*, Oldfield 40) beat Pakistan Under-19s 131 (Butt 37*, Bosch 4-15, Valli 2-19) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

South Africa finally broke their Under-19 World Cup jinx by beating crowd favourites Pakistan by six wickets in a predominantly one-sided final in Dubai. It had been a bowler's tournament all the way through and the final lived up to that billing as South Africa's seamers, led by Corbin Bosch, bundled out Pakistan for a paltry 131.

South Africa were made to concentrate in their chase and it was their captain Aiden Markram who soaked up the pressure with an unbeaten fifty to steer his team home.

It was fitting that the team that remained unbeaten went on to lift the title, thereby shedding the infamous 'chokers' tag associated with their seniors. This was South Africa's third appearance in the final of the U-19 World Cup and first since 2008. This was also the second ICC tournament title for the South Africans, including their ICC knockout title in Dhaka in 1998.

Captains have been inclined towards batting first in Dubai. But when Markram lost the toss, it wasn't the worst thing for his team. Kagiso Rabada was expected to be the main threat with his pace and bounce, but while he succeeded in asserting control, it was the medium-pace duo of Bosch and Justin Dill who ran through the top and middle order, nipping out more than half the side.

The Pakistan batsmen kept the wicketkeeper Clyde Fortuin and the slips busy, pushing and poking at deliveries they would rather have left alone. To South Africa's credit, the bowling was disciplined and the ploy of making the batsmen play had paid off.

Imam-ul-Haq and Sami Aslam were cautious but looked relatively comfortable in the first eight overs, aware that they needed to set themselves up for the long haul. But Imam pushed at one outside off off Rabada and edged to the keeper Fortuin who took the first of his six catches.

Dill struck in his first over, getting Aslam to edge to Fortuin. Bosch, very similar to Dill in terms of pace, dented Pakistan further with two wickets in an over. Saud Shakeel chased a wide ball and edged to slip, before Kamran Ghulam pushed at one that moved away, edging to Fortuin. The second wicket was a credit to Bosch for his probing line.

Hasan Raza punched Dill past mid-off and cover for a boundary but the bowler struck again the next ball when Raza nicked a short of a length ball to Fortuin. Bosch picked up another when Saifullah Khan half-heartedly pushed at one and edged to Fortuin, leaving Pakistan limping at 60 for 6. Dill and Bosch bowled 14 overs in tandem in a spell, conceded 26 runs and picked up five wickets.

It was down to the firm of Zafar Gohar and Amad Butt to bail Pakistan out of trouble again, after they did so successfully against England in the semi-final. Gohar wasn't afraid to go over the top off the seamers, as Pakistan looked to make the most of the batting Powerplay. Sigwili broke the stand of 45 before Bosch rounded off the innings with an inswinging yorker to Zia-ul-Haq.

The Pakistan bowlers managed to keep the top order under check for the first 12 overs at least, when they picked up two wickets. The seamers didn't give much in terms of width and bowled shorter lengths. Clyde Fortuin saw a short ball and looked to pull but the ball stopped on him and lobbed to short cover.

South Africa gambled by dropping a batsman, Kirwin Christoffels, for an extra seamer and as a result Jason Smith got a promotion. He didn't look comfortable against spin and came forward to the legspinner Karamat Ali, but failed to read the googly.

Pakistan captain Sami Aslam packed eight men inside the ring, including a slip and s short leg for the left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar. Gohar kept it tight, bowling a stump to stump line. Markram broke a boundary drought that lasted 57 balls when he drove Karamat down to long-on and the following over, Oldfield cut Gohar wide of backward point.

Following those boundaries, South Africa built slowly but steadily. However, there were easy singles on offer with the fielder standing on the edge of the 30 yard circle and there were gaps on the on side too. Pakistan had a half-chance of sending back Markram on 29 when he lofted one to deep cover, but the fielder wasn't quick enough to get to it. The ball dropped short and rolled to the rope.

As the required runs dropped below fifty, a few Pakistan spectators made their way out. With 33 needed, Oldfield looked to cut Karamat but edged to the keeper and soon after, Yaseen Valli misjudged the line and shouldered arms to Zia-ul-Haq. The celebrations weren't very animated because it was Markram's wicket they needed. He brought up his fifty with an exquisite cover drive and ensured he finished the job. Bradley Dial hit the winning runs with a punched boundary down the ground.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shafi on March 2, 2014, 10:14 GMT

    Pushing & prodding outside the off stump would rather be left alone is Pakistan's perennial problem. Seniors in Test & other international forms fall prey in similar fashion. Too many aerial shots & edgy fielding are causes of many Pakistan's downfalls.

    What Pakistan needs is technically correct batsmen with hunger for runs & disciplined bowling without experimenting too much & of course guys in prime physical condition with correct fielding techniques..

    Sincerely Shafi

  • Android on March 2, 2014, 4:52 GMT

    what a shame to come that close in grand final and lose. it feel like becoming joker from hero.... sa rocks and pakistan flops...

  • david on March 2, 2014, 3:19 GMT

    Firstly well done SA. You batted very intelligently against a team whose bowlers were excellent. There was no panic, (choking). The game was closer than the score indicated. I must admit at one stage I was worried because the South African tail could have collapsed very easily. To the Pakistani fans, thank you for your sportsmanship and I am glad you have praised your team who played well in the tournament. I think the outbursts by Asian fans, probably children, who berate their teams and selectors after every loss and suggest wholesale changes after a loss, put unnecessary pressure on the teams and force their captains to be excessively conservative. After SA lost in the last WC for the umpteenth time when favored, 3000 fans turned out to welcome them home, not to berate them. Imran Tahir was afraid to get off the plane when he heard how many fans were waiting. As pointed out by an earlier post, Pakistan is a talent factory but the infrastructure is the problem.

  • Pleasure on March 2, 2014, 1:52 GMT

    @ LionsofLanka: I've respect for Sri Lankan fans on this forum & from your screen name it likely your Sri Lankan supporter & you are asking for it. Did you remember who Pakistan beat in finals of T20 WC of 2009? That's right it was Sri Lanka. You have won a close game but if Pak meet Sri lanks in Asia cup final than brace yourself for a crushing defeat. No team can beat Pakistan in the same tournament twice. Ciao.

  • Pleasure on March 2, 2014, 1:41 GMT

    @Karthik78: If it is luck then let me tell you luck favors the brave & courageous only, which aren't the attributes of team india U19 who were already kicked out of the tournament. Now tomorrow your regular team will be kicked out of Asia cup. Ciao

  • Usman on March 2, 2014, 1:35 GMT

    Many congrats to all the South Africans, and they completely outplayed us! They put pressure on us really early on in the game. Well deserved World Champions. Some serious talent is coming through from both of these two teams. Well done South Africa!

  • Md on March 2, 2014, 1:15 GMT

    @vish2020: Actually waht is happening is than India lose everyday. Lol.

  • Reza on March 1, 2014, 23:30 GMT

    Firstly congratulatios to SA who certainly were the most consistent team throughout the tournament. Their excellent bowling won them the match initially. From a Pakistani perspective they appreciated the quality of the quicky and were hapy to bide their time. Not too bad a start but the reluctance to get forward another 3-4 inches in the popping crease cost them dear. Too negative and no attempt to force the bowlers to change their length and line. We have seen many times at test level that if you let bowlers settle they will and get you out also On the plus side this team knows how to run the 1st quickly (take note seniors) and the fielding does seem to be on the up.

    Overall SA are a professional unit and it was fairly obvious that all the bowlers knew exactly where they were supposet to bowl. Their batting was a mixture of attack and defence which is the way to play the game.My overall concern for Pakistan is will they ever become mentally tough enough to suceed consistently

  • Sanjay on March 1, 2014, 23:07 GMT

    If India is eliminated, that does NOT mean Pakistan has won the World Cup!Fans of Pakistan were so happy when India was eliminated and taking it for granted that it means Pakistan win. While it shows the fear of India in Pakistanis. Yet another lesson!

  • Wayne on March 1, 2014, 22:56 GMT

    Congratulations to South Africa, what a farce that the whole tournament was watched by a handful of spectators and the final looked like there more ground staff there instead of supporters, should be last time anything major is taken to Dubai, what a joke, i'm sure the boys would rather play on a suburban ground somewhere with a thousand people watching than a multi million dollar stadium in the middle of no where that is virtually empty, shame on you ICC

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