Pakistan U19 second successive win

East London, 24 January 2023:

Pakistan U19 registered their second consecutive win at the ICC U19 World Cup after they defeated Nepal U19 by five wickets at Buffalo Park, East London. Arafat Minhas took three wickets in an economical spell to restrict Nepal U19 to 197 in the first innings. In return, Azan Awais produced an unbeaten half-century to take Pakistan U19 over the line.

Shamyl Hussain (37, 59, 4x4s, 1×6) and Shahzaib Khan (37, 70b, 3x4s, 1×6) set the foundation for the successful chase courtesy of an 80-run opening partnership. Right-arm seamer Aakash Chand provided the breakthrough for Nepal U19 as he sent both opening batters walking back in the same over.

Arafat Minhas, batting at number three, chipped in with just eight off 15, including a boundary, before he also fell victim to Chand. Pakistan skipper Saad Baig was dismissed for a five-ball duck after he was caught off Aakash Tripathi’s bowling as the side was reduced to 104-4 in 28 overs.

Azan and Ahmad Hassan batted together to add 64 runs to the total, taking their team in reach of the target. Dipesh Kandel struck to remove Ahmad for 29 off 37 deliveries including four boundaries.

Azan went on to hit an unbeaten half-century, smashing 63 off 82 balls, showcasing six boundaries. For his impressive performance with the bat, Azan was awarded player of the match.

Haroon Arshad, the seventh man in, also contributed an undefeated 15 off 18, with the help of two boundaries.

Chand was the most successful bowler for Nepal U19, picking up three scalps. Kandel and Tripathi had one wicket each to their names.

Earlier, Nepal U19 won the toss and elected to bat first. They suffered two early blows courtesy of Ahmad; opening batter Arjun Kumal (6, 12b) was out in the fifth over and Tripathi (6, 10b) was caught by Arafat in the seventh over.

Captain Dev Khanal added 23 from 37, with three boundaries, before he was caught by Ubaid Shah off Ali Asfand’s bowling. Shortly after, Uttam Magar (4, 15b) fell to Arafat to bring Nepal U19 down to 85-4 in 21 overs.

Opening batter Bipin Rawal was the next batter to walk back to the pavilion, awarding Arafat his second wicket of the innings. Rawal, who contributed a hard-fought 39 from 68 on the back of four boundaries and a six, was the top-scorer for his side.

Gulshan Jha added 18 from 47 before he was caught off Khubaib Khalil’s bowling. Then, Arafat rattled Kandel’s (13, 17b, 2x4s) stumps as the seventh wicket fell for Nepal U19.

Deepak Dumre (26, 58b), Subash Bhandari (20, 24b) and Chand (16 not out, 11b, 1×4, 1×6) fronted Nepal’s lower-order resistance to get the team total 197 in 50 overs.

Arafat was the pick of the bowlers, returning with three wickets for just 23 runs in 10 overs including two maidens. Ahmed and Ubaid grabbed two scalps each while Ali, Mohammad Zeeshan and Khubaib removed a batter each.

Pakistan U19 will now face New Zealand U19 on 27 January 2024. The toss will take place at 1230 PKT and the first ball is expected to be bowled at 1300 PKT.

Scores in brief

Pakistan U19 beat Nepal U19 by five wickets

Nepal U19 197 all out, 50 overs (Bipin Rawal 39, Deepak Dumre 26, Dev Khanal 23; Arafat Minhas 3-23, Ahmad Hassan 2-12, Ubaid Shah 2-48)

Pakistan U19 201-5, 47.4 overs (Azan Awais 63 not out, Shamyl Hussain 37, Shahzaib Khan 37; Aakash Chand 3-34)

Player of the match – Azan Awais (Pakistan U19)

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