Pakistan goes head to head with South Africa in U19 World Cup final
Saturday, 1 March 2014 06:49
South Africa will aim to break the title drought when it will lock horns with two-time former champion Pakistan in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup UAE 2014 final in front of Star Sports cameras at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
South Africa finished runner-up in the 2002 and 2008 tournaments while Pakistan remains the only side to win back-to-back titles when it triumphed in 2004 and 2006 in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka respectively. In addition this, Pakistan also reached the finals in 1988 and 2010.
On head to head, the two sides have met only once in the history of this competition when South Africa defeated Pakistan by 98 runs according to the Duckworth-Lewis Method in Kuala Lumpur in the 2008 tournament. Their match in the 2000 tournament in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka, was washed out without a ball being bowled.
In the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2014, South Africa is the only side which is unbeaten so far. It defeated the West Indies by 94 runs, Canada by 45 runs, Zimbabwe by seven wickets, Afghanistan by nine wickets in the quarter-final and Australia by 80 runs in the semi-final.
In contrast, Pakistan started its campaign with a 40-run defeat against India and then achieved victory from the jaws of defeat against England in the semi-final by three wickets. In between, it beat Scotland by 146 runs, Papua New Guinea by 145 runs and Sri Lanka in the quarter-final by 121 runs.
Pakistan’s run in the tournament has been dominated by captain Sami Aslam and Imam-ul-Haq, the two openers who have featured in three century partnerships to date. The left-handers, who also played in the 2012 tournament in Townsville where Pakistan finished eighth, have hit one century and five half-centuries between them.
Imam, who has recovered from a hamstring injury and will play on Saturday, is the tournament’s second leading run-getter with 370 runs, while Sami sits in 11th position with 242 runs. Hasan Raza with 135 runs and Saud Shakeel 123 runs are the other notable Pakistan batsmen.
In the bowling, only Karamat Ali has been a consistent performer with 11 wickets so far. He is followed by Zafar Gohar and Zia-ul-Haq, who have picked up eight wickets apiece. Zafar and Zia are also playing in their second World Cup.
Meanwhile, in the third-fourth position play-off match, Ben Duckett hit a fine century but it was No.10 batsman Josh Shaw who hit the winning four to guide England to a thrilling one-wicket victory over Australia in the third-fourth position-off match at ICC Academy 1.
Duckett scored 100 off 109 balls with nine fours as England achieved the 247-run target with one wicket and two balls to spare. The last-wicket pair of Fisher (20 not out) and Josh Shaw (12 not out) put on 34 runs off 21 deliveries after England had slipped to 213 for nine.
Earlier, Ben McDermott top-scored with 56 and opener Matthew Short scored 41 as Australia collected 246 for seven in 50 overs.