U19 World Cup: Pakistan finish fifth with win over England

Pull off edition’s highest run chase for the loss of just three wickets

News Desk February 13, 2016
Pakistan’s win over England meant they lost just the solitary game in their World Cup campaign, against finalists West Indies in their quarter-final clash. PHOTO COURTESY: ICC

Pakistan finished their U19 World Cup campaign on a high with a comprehensive seven-wicket win over England in the fifth-place playoff in Fatullah, Bangladesh as they reached their 265-run target with 41 balls to spare to record the highest run-chase of the 2016 edition so far.

Pakistan skipper Gauhar Hafeez won the toss and decided to bowl first, and was immediately rewarded by his bowlers as Dan Lawrence was caught behind off Sameen Gul in the first over of the match without bothering the scorers.

It was soon 20-2 and 58-3 as the England batsmen struggled to cope with the new ball. However, 17-year-old Sam Curran steadied the ship with a superb 83 off 107 balls, hitting 11 fours in the process.

Curran was ably supported by Callum Taylor (33) and skipper Brad Taylor (37) to take England to a respectable 264-run total.

While several Pakistani bowlers impressed, they would have been disappointed with the number of extras they conceded — giving away 14 wides and 10 byes in a total of 26 extras.

The batsmen, however, ensured that Pakistan would not go on to rue their bowler’s profligacy. Hafeez got them off to a superb start early on, but his bright cameo came to an end when he hit George Garton to mid-wicket to end his short but sweet 12-ball stay at the crease that yielded 18 runs.

The pattern for the innings had been set though, with incoming Shadab Khan also hitting a couple of early boundaries before playing second fiddle to opener Zeeshan Malik, who was in superb touch.

Malik hit the bowlers all over the park at will and by the time Shadab was dismissed by leg-spinner Mason Crane, the score had already swollen to 83-2 off just 12.4 overs.

Said Badar joined Malik and the two put on a century stand that took the game away from England. Malik could not reach the hundred his game deserved though as he was dismissed on 93 off 105 balls by Curran. But Badar and the in-form Hasan Mohsin (39 off 36 balls) took Pakistan over the line without any more mishaps.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th,  2016.

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