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Rediff News  All News  » Cricket » Pakistan, India to clash in under-19 World Cup final

Pakistan, India to clash in under-19 World Cup final

February 18, 2006 08:25 IST


Pakistan kept alive their dream of becoming the first side to retain the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup as they romped to victory over Australia in Friday's second Super League semi-final in Colombo.

Safaraz Ahmed's side, at one stage 80-5, reached 287-9 thanks to a record sixth-wicket stand of 160 between Riaz Kail (84) and Ali Asad (69), and then routed their opponents for 124 to secure a 163-run success.

The win propelled Pakistan into Sunday's Super League final, where they will face their arch-rivals India, already there after an equally emphatic win over England on Wednesday.

And it gives Pakistan the chance to keep hold of the trophy they won at the last World Cup, in Bangladesh in 2004.

That chance is due to a large extent to the efforts of Kail and Asad as the duo fashioned a superb recovery after coming together in very unpromising circumstances.

Australia captain Moises Henriques (3-57) and Adam Ritchard (2-71) made life tough for the early batsmen and there was also brilliant work in the field that left Pakistan on the back foot.

Opener Nasir Jamshaid (15) was brilliantly stumped down the leg-side by Matthew Wade off Ritchard and when Rameez Raja (28) was run out looking for a second run to deep point it seemed Australia had one foot in the final.

But Kail and Asad had other ideas as first they stopped the rot by avoiding any unnecessary risks and then, as the ball stopped moving and the fielders tired in the baking humidity, the pair found their feet and played with real fluency.

Man of the match Kail hit nine fours during his 99-ball innings that spanned 104 minutes while the left-handed Asad's effort included five fours and a towering six as he faced 86 deliveries in 115 minutes.

Their stand was the highest sixth wicket partnership of the tournament and also equaled the best stand for any wicket in the 40 matches played so far, the 160 added by Ireland's Eoin Morgan and Andrew Poynter against New Zealand.

And in the face of their counter-attack, Australia's out-cricket wilted.  Ritchard, whose first five overs cost just 17 runs and included the wickets of Ibrahim Mohammed (2) and Nasir Jamshaid saw his last five overs go for 54 runs.

That was largely due to a ferocious late assault by Syed Imad Wasim, whose unbeaten 29 took just 14 balls and included three fours and a six.  That contribution was vital as it meant Pakistan maintained the momentum given to them by their sixth wicket pairing.

Captain Moises Henriques was also expensive late on but he did confirm his current standing as the tournament's leading wicket-taker.  His three successes took him to 16 wickets, four clear of Ireland pace bowler Niall McDarby.

The other wicket-taker for Australia was Simon Keen (2-46) while the spin of Jack McNamara (0-47) and super sub Jon Holland (0-31 in six overs) was largely ineffective.

Holland came on in place of seam bowler Ben Cutting who bowled four overs for 25 runs before he was replaced.

Australia, requiring almost a run-a-ball right from the start of their innings, found the going tough in the face of Pakistan's impressive opening attack.

The left-arm pacer Jamshaid Ahmed (2-17) swung the ball and removed Tom Cooper (1) and Henriques (8) while Anwer Ali Khan bowled his ten overs straight through and finished with a very tidy 0-45.

Usman Khawaja battled away for 59 from 69 balls but Australia gradually fell further and further behind the required rate and in the face of that mounting task and the increasing pressure they folded.

The last seven wickets fell for just 25 runs as Syed Imad Wasim (3-16) and Muhammad Usman Malik (3-17) wrapped things up with haste.

Pakistan coach Mansoor Rana said afterwards: "I am really proud of the boys as, when we left Pakistan, no one was really expecting this.

"We did not have a long camp ahead of the tournament but I was working with these boys and I knew they are capable.

"Today we just needed a partnership and to get to 35 or 40 overs with no more than the five wickets down.

"Our bowling has been very good for the last couple of months and I knew we were good enough to defend the total."

For Henriques the emotions were understandably different.

"That was really disappointing as it was absolutely our worst performance of the tournament after we played lots of good cricket.

"We started well but deteriorated in the field and never came back from there but it has been a big learning curve and as long as we walk away knowing we have learnt something then we will be better off."

Did Australia get complacent in the field after their early successes?  Henriques did not think so.

"I did not think we were in the final (at that stage) but we were on top," he said.

"We just could not bury them but credit to them as they batted sensibly and took the game away from us and we did not bat too well."

Ochan helps Uganda break their duck

A man of the match performance by all-rounder Patrick Ochan helped Uganda to their first victory of this ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup and sent Scotland home without a win.

Ochan's 64 – the first fifty by a Uganda batsman in the tournament – together with his 3-29 gave his side a 69-run win in the Plate Championship play-off final on Friday.

And that success means they have one more match to play, the final against Ireland on Saturday with the winners able to call themselves the 13th ranked team in the tournament.

Uganda reached 214-9 after being sent into bat by Scotland captain Kasaim Farid and then bowled their opponents out for 145.

The Africans' total was comfortably their highest of the tournament, eclipsing the 137 they made against New Zealand and Ochan played a big role in getting them there.

He faced faced 81 balls and hit 11 fours in 91 minutes at the crease and together with Jimmy Okello (13) he added 76 for the third wicket, Uganda's best stand for any wicket in the five matches they have played.

Afterwards coach Sam Walusimbi said: "I thought Patrick batted very well.

"He was very positive, played some lovely shots and he never looked like getting out until he was dismissed."

Even with Ochan's effort, Uganda were still wobbling at 145-6 as Gordon Goudie (3-40) and Umair Mohammed (3-38) bowled effectively.

But Emmanuel Isaanez, who later took 4-20, played a superb innings of 41 to help was vital in getting them past 200.

He faced just 41 balls and hit five fours and a six as he added 65 for the seventh wicket with Emmanuel Nakaana (16).

Extras also helped Uganda's cause.  Scotland conceded 46 of them to take their tally given away in five matches to a whooping 137.

The total against Uganda included 25 wides, which meant they had given the opposition 92 runs in wide balls during the tournament, and also 15 byes.

Those byes were conceded by captain Kasaim Farid, who took over behind the stumps in place of Andrew Hislop, who had a slight groin strain.  Farid did the job against Ireland in a warm-up game but those byes were the first Scotland conceded in the tournament.

Scotland's other wicket-taker was Sean Weeraratna (1-39), although Moneeb Iqbal deserved special praise after bowling his 10 overs for just 23 runs.

In reply Scotland lost the early wicket of Goudie for no score but still seemed well-placed at 79-2 when, not for the first time in this tournament, their batting fell to pieces.

Apart from Farid (29), only opener Iqbal (27) and Weeraratna (22) reached 20 with Ochan and Isaanez cutting a swathe through the middle and lower order as the last six wickets went down for just nine runs.

Uganda's other wicket-takers were the impressive Okello (1-10 in seven overs) and Davis Arinaitwe (2-28).

"We batted poorly and conceded too many extras again – that has been the story of the tournament for us," lamented Farid afterwards.

"Without all those extras and if we had batted in pairs then we would have had a chance.

"In the last couple of games we have not played like we can and as we did against Sri Lanka in our opening match.

"But we are still a developing country and we have developed during this tournament.  Maybe in the future good things can come from this."

Uganda now have to do it all again on Saturday and Walusimbi was under no illusions about the task that confronted his players now.

"It will be a very tough match," he said.  "Ireland are a good side and we have to contain their captain Morgan.

"We beat them in a warm-up game but they will be all out for revenge now."