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Pakistan finish third after playoff against New Zealand ends in damp squib
Match Report

Pakistan finish third after playoff against New Zealand ends in damp squib

Torrential rainfall in Benoni forced the abandonment of the U19 World Cup third-place playoff between Pakistan and New Zealand.

The no-result means Pakistan finish third ahead of New Zealand by virtue of earning more points in the group stage.

Pakistan topped their group with two wins and a no-result whereas New Zealand's youngsters endured a defeat and won one game while another was washed out in Group A.

The total no-contest was preceded by heavy overnight rain followed by a steady downpour at the start of the game delaying the coin-toss. The players could then only watch the dreary weather from their respective dressing rooms as umpires called off the match with no prospect of cricket action early in the day.

Pakistan's third-position finish mirrors their progress in the previous edition of the U19 World Cup in New Zealand. In the 2018 tournament, the playoff between Pakistan and Afghanistan had washed out allowing the former to finish third.

New Zealand's fourth-spot finish is a significant improvement since they ended eighth in the last U19 World Cup. They were beaten by Bangladesh in the semi-final on Thursday, having reached the final four by a close win over West Indies in the quarter-final. New Zealand's group match against World Cup debutants Japan was rained off depriving them of a chance to succeed against their weak opponents. Their loss to India also came in a rain-affected encounter as they fell short of the target by 44 runs on the D/L method.

Pakistan had a strong run heading into the semi-final, where they were flattened by a regal performance from India, consigning them to a 10-wicket defeat. They had earlier triumphed over Scotland and Zimbabwe, and looked set to cruise to victory against Bangladesh but rain interrupted their charge. In the quarter-final, they staved off the threat from Afghanistan to win by six wickets.

For Pakistan, batsman Mohammad Haris finished as the side's top-scorer with 131 runs in three innings while seamer Abbas Afridi claimed nine wickets.