U-19 World Cup 2024 – Ubaid Shah five-for helps Pakistan seal semis berth in thriller


Pakistan clinched the last semi-final berth at the Under-19 World Cup by beating Bangladesh by five runs in a low-scoring thriller on Saturday. India will now face South Africa in the first semi-final on February 6 while Pakistan will play Australia on February 8, in Benoni.

Pakistan Under-19s 155 (Minhas 34, Shahzaib 26, Jibon 4-24, Borson 4-24) beat Bangladesh Under-19s 150 (James 26, Borson 21*, Ubaid 5-44) by five runs

Bangladesh’s dreams of an Under-19 World Cup encore in South Africa – they won the title here in 2020 – came crashing down in the most heartbreaking fashion in Benoni.
Pakistan’s hero was Ubaid Shah, the younger brother of pace sensational Naseem Shah. Bowling with fire, intensity and raw pace that hustled Bangladesh’s batting line-up on a hot and dry day, Ubaid finished with figures of 5 for 44 as Pakistan sensationally defended 155 to win by five runs.

But until 30 minutes prior to the dramatic ending, Ubaid was left wondering if he’d dropped the cup. With Bangladesh needing 37 with four wickets in hand, Ubaid put down an absolute sitter at fine leg to reprieve Mohammad Shihad James, Bangladesh’s last recognised batter for 24. However, Ubaid bounced back to dismiss him in the very next over with a superb lifter that James nicked to the wicketkeeper to trigger wild celebrations.

Rohanat Doullah Borson, who earlier in the day picked up 4 for 24 to restrict Pakistan to a chaseble total, then came up with an impressive unbeaten 21 to take Bangladesh within touching distance, before Mohammad Zeeshan sent Pakistan into delirium with the final wicket of Maruf Mridha.
Pakistan had done the unthinkable, clinching a game from the clutches of defeat in a manner reminiscent of their run to a famous title win in the 2006 final against India at the R Premadasa Stadium. That day it was Anwar Ali who swung India’s famed top order out in defense of a modest 109. On Saturday, Ubaid was firmly front and centre of an inspired defence.

Their victory in the end may have been dramatic, but Pakistan were lackadaisical for large parts. Five batters got into double figures, but none carried on getting more than Arafat Mihnas’ 34 lower down the order. By then, they had been tottering at 89 for 6 and looked like they’d be bowled out well inside 40 overs. As it turned out, they just about managed to cross that mark.

Along with pacer Borson, offspinner Sheikh Paevez Jibon contributed a four-wicket haul in a superb spell of guile and control. As it turned out, these two heroic efforts however were second-best on a heartbreaking evening for Bangladesh.

Ireland Under-19s 267 for 9 (Roulston 82, Hilton 72, Schreuder 4-46) beat New Zealand Under-19s 131 for 5 (Nelson 34, Riley 3-20) by 41 runs via DLS method

The other two results didn’t have any major significance as far as semi-final qualification goes, but saw compelling performances nonetheless. Ireland upset New Zealand by 41 runs via the DLS method in Bloemfontein to finish the Super Six stage with a solitary win.

Ireland’s win was fashioned by batter Gavin Roulston, who top-scored with 82 in the team’s 267 for 9. Roulston’s 129-run third-wicket stand with Kian Hilton, who made 72, set Ireland up for a competitive total. Ireland were on track for a bigger score, but an underwhelming last ten overs scuttled their designs. Fast bowler Ewald Schreuder was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4 for 46.
New Zealand started slowly and seemed set on consolidation first before trying to make a late push towards victory. But from 92 for 2 in the 24th, they slipped to 131 for 5 in the 33rd. Having allowed the asking rate to spiral, they were under pressure when the rain came. Oliver Riley‘s three-for early on was instrumental in ensuring Ireland were well ahead of the DLS as they eventually clinched victory.

England Under-19237 for 7 (Alison 76, Wylie 61, Nyamhuri 2-50) beat Zimbabwe Under-19 91 (Taruvinga 38, Ali 7-29) by 146 runs

Legspinner Tazeem Chaudhry Ali picked up a seven-for, the best by an Englishman at an Under-19 World Cup, as they beat Zimbabwe by 146 runs in Potchefstroom.
England’s win was a little more straightforward, even though it wasn’t the most convincing of batting performances. From 116 for 5, they had Charlie Allison to thank for a rescue. His 76 lifted them to 237 for 7, with Theo Wiley, the opener, being the other big contributor with 61.

Zimbabwe’s chase never got off the blocks as they soon slipped to 51 for 5. From there on, there was no looking back as Chaudhary Ali made merry to record a superb performance to deliver a consolation win.

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