WHANGAREI – Afghanistan defeated Pakistan by five wickets in the opening match of the Under-19 World Cup on Saturday at Cobham Oval, Whangarei.
Pakistani Under-19 team won the toss and opted to bat first but could manage to score just 188 runs before they were sent to the pavilion in 48th over.
Rohail Nazir was the only batsman who resisted the Afghan pace attack and bagged 81 runs off 105 balls. Ali Zaryab Asif remained the second highest run-scorer with 30.
On the other hand, Afghanistan’s Azmatullah Omarzai and Qais Ahmad picked up three wickets.
Chasing an eay target, Afghanistan took a fine start and trounced Green Shirt with five wickets in hand in the 48th over.
From Afghan side, Darwish Rasooli delivered a match-winning performance and scored 76 runs. Ikram Ali Khil supported Rasooli with 46 runs.
Pakistan’s Muhammad Musa dismissed three players. Darwish Rasooli was declared Man of the Match for his wonderful batting.
Earlier, Afghanistan’s skipper Nawin-ul-Haq had said the team was fully prepared for all the tournament games especially the contest with Pakistan.
He said his team had recently beaten Pakistan two times and the pressure was on them.
Pakistan U19 Squad: Muhammad Mohsin Khan, Muhammad Zaid Alam, Rohail Nazir, Mohammad Taha, Ali Zaryab , Saad Khan, Hasan Khan(c), Muhammad Musa, Shaheen Afridi, Munir Riaz, Suleman Shafqat, Ammad Alam, Arshad Iqbal, Imran Shah, Mohammad Ali Khan
Afghanistan U19 Squad: Naveen-ul-Haq(c), Rahmanullah, Mohammad Ibrahim, Darwish Rasooli, Nisar Wahdat, Tariq Stanikzai, Azmatullah, Qais Ahmad, Mujeeb Zadran, Zahir Khan, Yousuf Zazai, Wafadar, Ikram Faizi, Baheer Shah, Waqar Ishaqzai
The 16 teams have been divided into four groups of four teams each.
Alongside India and Australia, Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe are also part of the Group B while Group A consists of Kenya, New Zealand, South Africa and the West Indies.
Bangladesh, Canada, England and Namibia form Group C while Group D comprises Afghanistan, Ireland, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
All teams in each group will play each other once. The top two from each group will qualify for the quarterfinals. The top four will qualify for the semi-finals.
The final will be played on February 3 at Mount Maunganui.
Saturday (UAE TIME)
Group D: Afghanistan v Pakistan (1.30am)
Group B: Papua New Guinea v Zimbabwe (1.30am)
Group C: Bangladesh v Namibia (1.30am)
Group A: New Zealand v West Indies (4am)
Group D: Ireland v Sri Lanka (1.30am)
Group A: Kenya v South Africa (1.30am)
Group B: Australia v India (4am)