TRINIDAD: Recording an impressive win on Thursday, the Pakistan U19 cricket team beat Afghanistan by 24 runs to advance to the quarter-finals of the ICC Men’s U19 World Cup from Group C at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad.
Pakistan skipper Qasim Akram chose to bat first at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad, and his team set a solid foundation.
Muhammad Shehzad made 43 off 51 balls after losing his partner Haseebullah Khan for only two runs.
Shehzad shared a 60-run partnership with No. 3 Abdul Faseeh, who scored 68 off 95 balls, and skipper Qasim, who contributed 38 from No. 5.
Pakistan lost three for 11 when Izharulhaq Naveed (three for 41) removed Faseeh, and they were in danger of not having enough runs to defend at 184 for seven.
Maaz Sadaqat, on the other hand, produced a brilliant innings, scoring 42 runs off just 37 balls, including seven fours, to help his side reach 239 for nine from their 50 overs.
In response, Afghanistan misjudged the speed of their innings, as the top three absorbed far too many balls in chase of the target.
Bilal Sayedi, 42 off 81 balls, Nangeyalia Kharote, 12 off 32 balls, and Allah Noor, 28 off 49 balls, all with strike rates under 58, required 170 balls to score 100 runs.
Despite a poor start, Afghanistan took the contest deep. Their innings was marred by some frantic running between the wickets, which included three runouts and a number of near misses.
With two wickets in hand, Noor Ahmad hit three sixes to put his side in contention for a surprise victory. They needed 28 runs off the final two overs.
But when he was bowled for 29 off 18 balls by Awais Ali, who was the pick of the bowlers with three for 36, there was only going to be one winner, and Afghanistan now must prepare for a winner-takes-all clash against Zimbabwe on Saturday.