Favourites cruise on opening day
Australia U-19s 312 (Hill 124) beat Namibia U-19s 163 (Botha 56) by 149 runs
Michael Hill, the captain of the Australian side, scored the first century of the Under-19 World Cup as his team cruised to a 149-run win in their tournament opener against Namibia. After being put in to bat, most of the Australian top order frittered away the opportunity to get some batting practice, but Hill blasted 124 from a mere 71 balls to lift Australia to an imposing 312. Namibia were never in the hunt, and folded for 163 in 31 overs.
Hill came to the crease in the second over the match, after Kumar Sarna was trapped in front for 1, and quickly set about dominating the Namibian bowlers. He hit an astonishing 11 sixes and added 126 for the third wicket with Steven Smith, whose contribution was 39, in 13.3 overs. Hill fell in the 24th over, with Australia having already rocketed to 195, but thereafter the team lost its way and added only 117 more. Michael Cranmer (40) and James Faulkner (36) got starts, but Namibia fought back with wickets towards the end as Australia's innings ended two overs short of their quota.
Namibia's run-chase never got started - they lost their first two wickets with only ten on the board, and from there it was only a matter of damage control. Dawid Botha, their captain, helped achieve that with a blistering 46-ball 56, while Louis van der Westhuizen creamed 48 from 35, but thereafter wickets fell in a heap - the last six went down for 34 - as Namibia's innings folded. Smith finished as Australia's most successful bowler, his legspinners fetching him 4 for 41 from seven overs.
England U-19s 110 for 0 (Taylor 52*) beat Ireland U-19s 109 (Dougherty 34, Finn 3-21, Harris 3-40) by ten wickets
England's new-ball bowlers were the stars as they helped crush Ireland by ten wickets with more than 34 overs to spare in their first game of the Under-19 World Cup at Bayuemas Oval. Steven Finn, James Harris and Chris Woakes, the three seamers, did the job after Ireland were put in to bat, sharing eight out of ten wickets to bundle them out for 109. England's opening batsmen then completed the formalities, knocking off the runs in less than 16 overs.
Ireland's woes began soon after they began batting: Finn struck in his second over, getting rid of Paul Stirling, one of the openers, for 2. Wickets then fell at regular intervals, with Christopher Dougherty, the other opener, the batsman to offer some resistance. He made 34, and was one of only three to get into double digits. Finn and Harris helped themselves to three wickets each, while Woakes and Tom Westley, an offspinner, took two each.
Billy Godleman and James Taylor, the England openers, then knocked off the runs in a hurry. Godleman scored at more than a run a ball for his unbeaten 38, but Taylor managed the bulk of the strike, scoring an unbeaten 52 from 63 balls as England sailed home with plenty to spare.
Pakistan U-19s 76 for 2 (Amin 31*, Shehzad 27*) beat Malaysia U-19s 75 (Arifin 28, Raza 6-29) by eight wickets
Adil Raza, the 16-year-old seamer, scythed through hosts Malaysia, taking 6 for 29, before Pakistan knocked off the runs with eight wickets to spare to begin their World Cup title defence in perfect fashion.
Pakistan needed only 9.3 overs to chase down their target of 76, with Umar Amin and Ahmed Shehzad adding 69 of those runs for the second wicket. Amin, who scored 31, hit seven fours in his breezy knock, while Shehzad saw Pakistan through to the finish
The Pakistan captain Imad Wasim's decision to field first reaped immediate reward as his seamers Raza and Mohammad Aamer claimed three wickets apiece to have Malaysia reeling at 35 for 6 after 10 overs. Nik Azril Arifin, who scored 28 off 43 balls, was the only Malaysian who showed enough application to stay at the crease, and it was only a matter of time before Raza returned to polish off the tail.
In the other match of the day, India defeated Papua New Guinea by 195 runs.