Pakistan under-19 side launched their World Cup campaign in style when they beat Afghanistan by 109 runs in their tournament opener at John Blanck Oval, Buderim yesterday.
Put into bat, Pakistan piled up 253 for six off their quota. Captain Babar Azam top-scored with 75 off 103 balls, an innings that was laced with seven fours. Mohammad Nawaz, who scored 66 off just 50 balls, and Umar Waheed (43*) gave the captain ample support.
For Afghanistan, Sayed Shiraz and Mohammad Yamin picked up two wickets each while giving away 43 and 54 runs respectively. Shabir Ahmed took one wicket for 49 runs.
In reply, Afghanistan could only manage 144 in 45.1 overs. Hashmatullah Shaidi was the pick of the batmen for Afghanistan, scoring 50 runs off 77 balls including three fours. Mohibullah (30), Mohammad Javed (20) and Afsar Khann (16) were the batsmen who reached double figures. For Pakistan, Ziaul Haq grabbed four wickets for just 30 runs while Zafar Gohar bagged two wickets for 25 runs. Waheed and Usman Qadir picked up one wicket each. Azam was declared the man of the match.
In other matches on the opening day, Australia beat England by six wickets, Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka by 25 runs and Zimbabwe beat PNG by 104 runs.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2012.