<
>

Pakistan set up semi-final showdown against India

The Pakistan Under-19 players celebrate their win against Afghanistan Getty Images

Pakistan Under-19s 190 for 4 (Mohammad Huraira 64, Noor Ahmad 2 for 32) beat Afghanistan Under-19s 189 (Zakhil 40, Abdul Rahman 30, Mohammad Amir Khan 3 for 58) by six wickets

In what was built up as a tense clash between two neighbouring countries, Pakistan's all-round bowling effort combined with a solid batting performance helped them set up a semi-final clash against defending champions India. Afghanistan, meanwhile, can at best hope to finish fifth if they beat Australia in a play-off fixture,

Pakistan's efforts were led by half-centurion Mohammad Huraira, who ensured they didn't have any hiccups in their chase of 190. They crossed the line with plenty to spare.

ALSO READ: Noor Ahmad mankads Mohammad Huraira in Under-19 World Cup

Although the win was straightforward, it featured a moment of quick-thinking from Afghanistan's left-arm spinner Noor Ahmad, who ran out opener Huraira for 64 in the 28th over for walking out of his crease at the non-strikers' end.

However, that dismissal did not alter the result. The unbeaten fourth-wicket stand between Qasim Ahmed (25) and Mohammad Haris (29) took Pakistan to victory in the 42nd over.

"Our batsmen did not take the responsibility today, and that's where we lost," Afghanistan captain Farhan Zakhil told ESPNcricinfo after the match. "We want to congratulate Pakistan on the way they controlled the game. They deserved to win today."

"I had self-belief that whenever I get a chance for the team, I'll try to do my best," Huraira, the Player of the Match, said. "The coaches told us to not go for the big shots against the spinners. When they bowled bad, only then did we go for the boundary shots. The pacers were wayward and we waited for the bad ball. When it came, we banged them away."

Afghanistan, opting to bat first, were bowled out for 189. Pakistani right-arm pacer Mohammad Amir Khan led the way, taking 3 for 58. Afghanistan had begun their innings well, putting on 41 runs for their first wicket in quick time, but Ibrahim Zadran's dismissal to left-arm quick Tahir Hussain opened the gates for a middle-order collapse.

The score of 41 for 1 soon became 99 for 4 as Pakistan's bowlers upped the pressure by their tidy bowling in the middle overs. If it wasn't for No. 9 Abdul Rahman's 41-ball 30 towards the end, Afghanistan could have been bowled out for much less. Each of Pakistan's six bowlers picked up at least one wicket, with Fahad Munir taking 2 for 29 in his seven overs.

Pakistan's chase began smoothly, as their openers struck exquisite drives and hearty pulls off the Afghanistan pacers in the first Powerplay. Haider Ali was the first man dismissed, run out in the 12th over, but by then they had already put on 61.

Pakistan captain Rohail Nazir then struck 22 in the company of Huraira to take them past 100, and despite Noor's efforts of taking two wickets plus the run-out of Huraira, they eventually had too few runs to defend.

Huraira was the best batsman on the day. He struck eight fours and a six, peppering most of his boundaries through the covers and even holding his pose for the cameras on a few occasions.

England Under-19 286 for 9 (Hill 90, Cox 59, Madhevere 4-42) beat Zimbabwe Under-19 211 (Tugwete 58, Madhevere 52, Balderson 3-29) by 75 runs

Half-centuries from George Hill and Jordan Cox helped England Under-19 to a 75-run victory against Zimbabwe in the ninth-place playoff. England posted 286 for 9, buoyed by an 83-run fourth-wicket stand between Cox and Hill, who made 59 and 90 respectively.

After Cox's dismissal, Hill anchored the best part of the innings, peppering six fours and six in his 119-ball knock. By the time Wesley Madhevere had him caught in the 48th over, England already had 260 on the board.

Hill was ably supported by captain George Balderson, who chipped in with a quickfire 30-ball 45 not out. Madhevere shone for Zimbabwe, finishing with 4 for 42.

With the bat, too, Madhevere, stood out, smashing a 45-ball 52 in the opening position. While he kept the scoreboard ticking, the opposition kept chipping away at Zimbabwe's top order. By the close of the 14th over, Zimbabwe had lost their top four, Madhevere among the only batsmen to notch a double-digit score.

Emannuel Bawa and Taurayi Tugwete led the repair task thereafter, adding 70 for the fifth wicket, but fell for 31 and 58 within two overs of each other. With 118 needed off 17 overs, Zimbabwe folded for 211 inside 41 overs. Balderson took 3 for 29, while Scott Currie and Lewis Goldworthy bagged two wickets each.

Pakistan U19 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st61Haider AliMohammad Huraira
2nd56Rohail NazirMohammad Huraira
3rd10Fahad MunirMohammad Huraira
4th0Qasim AkramMohammad Huraira
5th63Qasim AkramMohammad Haris