NewsAustralia U19 win low-scoring semi-final against spirited Pakistan U19

Australia U19 win low-scoring semi-final against spirited Pakistan U19

Benoni, 8 February 2024: Pakistan U19 went down fighting in a close encounter against Australia U19 in the ICC U19 World Cup semi-final, played at Willowmoore Park, Benoni. After being put to bat first, Pakistan U19 were dismissed for 179. In turn, Australia U19 managed to chase the target in the last over, with just one wicket in the bag.

Pakistan U19 got off to a faltering start as opening batters Shamyl Hussain (17, 23b, 3x4s) and Shahzaib Khan (4, 30b) walked back to the pavilion inside the powerplay.

Captain Saad Baig could only produce three runs before falling to Tom Straker. Ahmad Hassan (4, 18b) and Haroon Arshad (8, 27b) also lost their wickets cheaply as Pakistan U19 were reduced to 79-5 in 28 overs.

Azan Awais and Arafat Minhas led the recovery courtesy of a 54-run sixth-wicket stand. The partnership was cut short by Straker who removed Azan for 52 off 91 deliveries, including three fours.

Arafat completed his half-century (52, 61b, 9x4s) as well before he was caught at deep cover by Oliver Peake off Tom Campbell’s bowling.

Pakistan U19 finished the innings at 179 in 48.5 overs. Straker was the pick of the bowlers as he bagged six wickets for just 24 runs in 9.5 overs. Campbell, Raf MacMillan Callum Vidler and Mahli Beardman dismissed a batter each.

In reply, Ali Raza picked up the first wicket for Pakistan as he sent opening batter Sam Konstas (14, 31b, 2x4s) packing with a sharp inswinger.

Australia’s chase then stumbled as captain Hugh Weibgen (4, 12b) was removed by Naveed Ahmed Khan while Harjas Singh and Ryan Hicks were also dismissed for low scores to slump to 59-4 in 16.3 overs.

The sixth-wicket partnership between opening batter Dixon and Peake brought back stability to Australia U19’s innings. Arafat uncoupled the duo by getting rid of Dixon for a 75-ball 50, including five boundaries.

Cambell joined Peake on the crease and the two added 44 runs, to help take their team make further progress. Arafat struck again by rattling Cambell’s stumps, who walked back for 25 off 42 balls, with two boundaries.

Ali returned to create hurdles for Australia U19 by dismissing the well-set Peake and then bowled a double-wicket maiden that included the scalps of Straker and Beardman.

MacMillan (19 not out, 29b, 2x4s) chipped in with crucial runs as an unbroken 17-run stand for the last wicket took Australia U19 over the line to set up the World Cup final clash against India U19.

Ali was the best bowler for Pakistan U19 as he bowled an incredible spell picking up four wickets for 34 runs. Arafat had two wickets, while Ubaid and Naveed had a wicket each.

Scores in brief

Australia U19 win against Pakistan U19 by one wicket

Pakistan U19 179 all out, 48.5 overs (Arafat Minhas 52, Azan Awais 52; Tom Straker 6-24)

Australia U19 181-9, 49.1 overs (Harry Dixon 50, Oliver Peake 49; Ali Raza 4-34, Arafat Minhas 2-20)

Player of the match – Tom Straker (Australia U19)

The author

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