Pakistan have sealed their place in the semi-finals as they defeated Afghanistan in the ongoing U19 World Cup on Friday at Willowmoore Park in Benoni. The Rohail Nazir-led team wholly dominated in the game and thrashed Afghanistan in the quarter-final contest.
Chasing the target of 190 was not going to be very challenging for Pakistan’s batting line-up, and their batsmen did precisely the same. The opening duo of Haider Ali and Mohammad Huraira gave a solid start and reached fifty without a loss. However, at the score of 61, Afghanistan drew the first blood in the form of Haider, who got run out.
It was a good breakthrough for Farhan Zakhil-led side, but they failed to capitalize as Huraira joined hands with his leader Nazir to take their team at a commanding position. Both the batsmen added 56-run stand before Left-arm chinaman bowler Noor Ahmed dismissed Nazir on 22.
Noor came in the rhythm as he sent middle-order batter Fahad Munir back to the pavilion for just 2 runs. The spinner didn’t just stop there as in the very next over he ‘Mankaded’ Huraira, who was looking well settled at 64.
Pakistan didn’t lose any wicket, after that incident and completed the chase successfully, winning the match by 6-wickets. Qasim Akram and Mohammad Haris added a 63-run stand to take their side into the semi-finals.
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Earlier, Afghanistan won the toss and opted to bat first. Pakistan’s bowlers performed exceptionally well to restrict their neighbors on just 189. Skipper Zakhil was the highest scorer (40 off 55 balls) for his team. No other batsman was able to cross 40.
The middle-order pair of Rahmanullah and Abid Mohammadi scored 29 and 28 respectively, followed by medium-pace bowler Abdul Rahman who added 30 runs.
For Pakistan, Mohammad Amir Khan bowled brilliantly as he scalped the maximum three wickets for 58 in his 10 overs. Left-arm spinner Amir Ali was the most economical bowler. He gave just 30-runs in his 10 overs along with a big wicket of Zakhil. Leg-spinner Fahad Munir also shined for ‘Boys in Green’ and took two wickets for 29 in 7 overs.
Huraira was rewarded as the ‘Player of the Match’ for his match-winning knock.
Pakistan will now meet their arch-rivals India in the first semi-final on Tuesday (Feb 04) at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom.