|U19 World Cup: Pakistan’s worst campaign ends in defeat|
25 August 2012
TOWNSVILLE: After all the hype around the Pakistan team at the ICC U19 World Cup, and a start that saw them defeat Australia in a warm-up series before three wins on the trot, their campaign ended with a disappointing five-wicket loss to Bangladesh to finish eighth in the 16-team event.
Tail-enders Mohammad Nawaz (82) and Shahid Ilyas (44) helped Pakistan reach a 235-run total before a superb hundred by Bangladesh captain Anamul Haque helped them clinch seventh place. Pakistan’s worst show in the tournament, which saw them lose three successive matches, raised many questions. Coach Sabih Azhar blamed the quarter-final loss to India for the dismal campaign.
“That match disturbed our winning momentum,” Azhar told reporters in Townsville, Australia. “But I’m satisfied since we’ve been able to identify four to five very talented players in our line-up. The result at this event should not judge the team’s potential. A few bad sessions have cost us dearly but we’ll learn from our mistakes.
“These boys have the talent to bounce back.”
The team, which leaves for Pakistan today, remained unbeaten in the group phase of the tournament, beating New Zealand, Afghanistan and Scotland. However, a quarter-final loss to the archrivals and defeats to West Indies and Bangladesh turned the campaign around for the U19 side. Meanwhile, the team management was also unimpressed with the tournament’s format. The officials, in their report, have expressed a desire to have a single-league system before the semi-finals and final.
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