The third quarter-final of the 2012 U19 World Cup will see Pakistan and India – both former champions – take on each other for progress.
Pakistan topped Group B after a a clinical performance helped them beat New Zealand by five wickets, while India thrashed PNG by 107 runs to qualify from Group C behind leaders the West Indies.
Batting first, New Zealand stuttered to 152 for eight with Robert O’Donnell (29) and Henry Walsh (33) adding 51 runs for the fourth wicket. For Pakistan, wickets were shared between all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz (two for 32), right-arm fast-bowler Ehsan Adil (two for 21) and 17-year-old left-arm quick Ziaul Haq (two for 27).
In reply, Nawaz followed up bowling effort with an unbeaten 23 with the help of one four and two sixes to not only win the player-of-the-match award but also take his side past the finish line with over 18 overs to spare.
“We were confident we would do well and I was very pleased with the way we worked together as a unit today,” said Pakistan captain Babar Azam, who has already hit a century in the tournament. “We have enjoyed our cricket so far and now we are into the quarter-finals, I think we can continue to improve.”
India thrash PNG to seal progress
Meanwhile, PNG’s Chad Soper and India’s Ravikant Singh took five wickets each but the latter walked away with the player-of-the-match award as India romped to a 107-run win and also a place in the knockouts.
Soper, a right-arm medium-pacer, bowled superbly by ripping through India’s lower-order after having earlier claimed the prized scalp of India captain Unmukt Chand to finish with five for 32. India was bowled out for 204 in 45.1 overs. Vijay Zol was the best of the Indian batsmen, top scoring with 72. However, in reply, PNG never really threatened the target and were bowled out for just 97. Chris Kent (27) and Charles Amini (28) were the only players to offer any resistance.
Ravikant Singh was devastating with the ball for India, taking five wickets in his nine overs, including two maidens.
Bangladesh into the quarters as well
Bangladesh locked the door on Asian rivals Sri Lanka with a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Namibia to take the second quarter-final spot from Group D.
Namibia batted first, hoping to strike the sort of batting form that might lead its opponents into a costly misstep. But Bangladesh did not let things slip, restricting its opponents to 151 in the final over despite a gutsy 40 from captain Stephan Baard. Bangladesh opener Liton Das then ensured there were no hiccups against the qualifiers, with his composed unbeaten 70 steering his side to 155 for three from 37 overs.
England reach quarter-finals as well
Another impressive knock by wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes and some hostile pace bowling by Shozair Ali helped England defeat Nepal by 126 runs to finish second behind Australia in Group A.
Foakes missed a century by eight runs but his 92 off 84 balls was the centre-piece of England’s 274 for seven, which also featured a quickfire half-century from Ben Duckett (55 off 33 balls). However, despite a half-century from Nepal opener Subhash Khakurel, their run-chase was never allowed to flourish as Ali and fellow new ball partner Reece Topley rattled through the line-up to dismiss the minnows for 148.(With additional input from the ICC)
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2012.