The Super League quarter-final 2 of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2018 was played between Pakistan and South Africa on Wednesday (24th January) at Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Pakistan restricted the opposition to 189/9. What should have been a straight forward chase was turned into yet another thriller by their batsmen. In the end it was Ali Zaryab’s (74* off 111) resistance that helped them edge past South Africa to book their semi-finals ticket. Pakistan won by 3 wickets with 13 balls remaining.
Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and chose to bowl first. Their decision paid off; Shaheen Afridi removed the Protea openers in the first 10 overs. Then, Muhammed Musa struck twice in consecutive overs to leave the opposition reeling on 43/4 in 15 overs. Wandile Makwetu’s counter-attacking fifty helped South Africa cross the 100 mark; he was dismissed at 60 by Musa. A couple of run-outs further dented their hopes to score in access of 200. Much to Pakistan’s delight they could only manage 189/9 in their allotted 50 overs. Musa took 3 for 29, Afridi took 2 for 30 while Arshad and Hassan chipped with on wicket each.
Pakistan opted for the wobbly chase method. They did the same in their last game against Sri Lanka which also happened to be a virtual knock-out. What should have been a straightforward chase was turned into a thriller. Pakistan lost their top order for 63 runs in 15.1 overs. Then, Jason Niemand the off-spinner struck twice and Pakistan were 111 for 5 after 26 overs. It was the resistance of Ali Zaryab Asif which came to the rescue for Pakistan once again. He along with Saad Khan stitched a partnership of 65 for the sixth wicket. Saad Khan fell after scoring 26 vital runs, followed by Musa’s first ball duck. In the end it was Ali Zaryab’s unbeaten 74 off 111 balls which ensured Pakistan a place in the semi-finals.
Full Match Highlights: Pakistan U19 v South Africa U19 ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2018 quarter-final
This is the 8th time Pakistan have made it to the semi-finals of the U19 CWC, joint most along with Australia. Pakistan will either face Bangladesh or India for a place in the final.