|ICC U19 World Cup: Pakistan touch new low|
23 August 2012
Pakistan are on track for their worst finish at the ICC U19 World Cup after the team went down to the West Indies in the fifth-sixth position play-off semi-final yesterday in Townsville, Australia.
The team, which started off as one of the favourites, will now meet Bangladesh tomorrow for the seventh-eight position match. However, irrespective of the result of the upcoming game, the team has confirmed their worst performance in the tournament’s history.
Windies add insult to injury
Meanwhile, West Indies bounced back from a poor start to secure a 16-run win to confirm their fifth position play-off with England.
Pakistan, after electing to field, were able to dismiss their counterparts for 182 in 49 overs with paceman Mir Hamza being the chief tormentor, finishing with three for 44. Usman Qadir claimed two while Ziaul Haq and Mohammad Nawaz grabbed one wicket each.
Kraigg Brathwaite (39) and Stephen Katwaroo (35) were the top scorers for the West Indies.
Pakistan were set to achieve the target, comfortably placed at 71 for two, before a collapse dented their chase.
Spinner Derone Davis started the rout, removing Pakistan captain Babar Azam (38) and Umer Waheed (31) – the top scorers for Pakistan – before adding the wicket of Usman Qadir.
Nawaz made 28 but the rest of the middle-order batsman failed, while the tail was unable to wag as Pakistan lost their second successive match in the tournament after a one-wicket defeat to India.
Players failed to recover from India loss: coach
Meanwhile, Pakistan coach Sabih Azhar said the players failed to move on from the shocking one-wicket loss against India in the quarter-final.
“The team started well but failed to finish the task,” Azhar told The Express Tribune from Australia while commenting on the loss against the West Indies. “The players were heartbroken after the defeat to India. The team management did its best to buck them up but they failed to recover. They were very down after the loss with their confidence shattered.
“But there are no excuses for the loss as we should have won it from a strong position.”
‘Batting led to debacle’
The coach blamed poor batting for the defeat. “Batting was our strength but it failed when it was needed the most.
“The top-order received a helping hand from the lower-order but in the match against India all of them failed.
“It was one of the bad days which teams never want in such a crunch game.”
Azhar expressed disappointment on the worst-ever finish, adding that it were unexpected.
“We were in supreme form and it is painful to see such a finish. We were confident and were eying the final. We had never imagined such a fate.
“It is very hurtful to me as coach as the team did a lot of hard work for months to prepare for the tournament.”
Sri Lanka, PNG record wins
In other matches of the tournament yesterday, Sri Lanka’s Sandun Weerakkody hit an unbeaten century to help his side to a comfortable 109-run win over Ireland in the ninth-place playoff semi-final.
Papa New Guinea downed Zimbabwe by 12 runs in the 13th-place playoff semi-final.
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