Pakistan, South Africa lock horns in U-19 World Cup quarters today
HAGLEY OVAL – A fascinating ICC U19 CWC Super League quarter-final is in store at the Hagley Oval as Pakistan and South Africa prepare to lock horns.
Both teams qualified with two victories and a defeat but Pakistan emerged as winners of Group D, edging out Afghanistan on net run rate, while South Africa had to settle for second place in Group A after being beaten by New Zealand.
Pakistan made an inauspicious start to the tournament, losing their opening fixture to neighbours Afghanistan by five wickets to leave their hopes of qualifying for the Super League quarter-finals hanging by a thread. They came roaring back against Ireland though, dismissing their opponents for 97 and then chasing down their target in just 8.5 overs to give their net run rate a boost. Pakistan then sealed top spot in Group D with a three-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in a thrilling contest.
By contrast, South Africa came flying out of the blocks but ended their group fixtures with a whimper. The Proteas racked up 341/7 in a thumping victory over Kenya before an impressive 76-run win over reigning champions West Indies. However, with top spot in Group A up for grabs, they were comfortably beaten by the Black Caps, falling to a 71-run defeat.
Players to watch
Hasan Khan (Pak)
Left-arm paceman Shaheen Afridi has stolen the limelight so far with nine wickets at a very impressive average of 9.22, but keep an eye out for the slow left-arm spinner Hasan Khan. Pakistan’s captain has claimed six scalps at 17 with a miserly economy rate of 4.25 and also offered crucial runs from the middle order. His composed innings of 24 not out from 45 deliveries in the narrow victory over Sri Lanka was the difference between top spot in Group D and having to settle for a place in the Plate quarter-finals.
Hermann Rolfes (SA)
The 18-year-old is a key figure for South Africa, generally taking the new ball and batting at No.4. His all-round talent has been on display for all to see so far in the tournament, with Rolfes taking 4/33 in the win over West Indies and then hitting 108 from 124 balls in a losing cause against the Kiwis. He’ll be hoping that his contributions can take his side over the line this time around.
World Cup history
Pakistan are the third-most successful team in ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup history behind only India and Australia, having taken home the title twice, in 2004 and 2006. They have made the final on a further three occasions, including at the first-ever tournament in 1988, with a team including future legends Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mushtaq Ahmed.
This is South Africa’s 11th ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup appearance. After four near-misses – they came third at the 1998 and 2012 events, and were runners-up in 2002 and 2008 – they finally registered their maiden triumph in 2014, with a team featuring current Test players Aiden Markram, Andile Phehlukwayo and Kagiso Rabada. That was followed by their joint-worst performance, as they failed to make the quarter-finals in 2016, finishing 11th in the final analysis.
Head to head
Pakistan and South Africa have had some enthralling tussles at under 19 level over the years. They have met in 16 Youth ODIs, with Pakistan claiming nine victories to South Africa’s seven. However, the Pakistanis are still looking for their first win over South Africa in an ICC U19 CWC, with the Proteas prevailing in their two previous meetings in 2008 and 2014.
The weather is set fair in Christchurch, with plenty of sunshine and temperatures expected to reach as high as 28 degrees.
Pakistan: Hasan Khan (c), Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Ali Khan, Ammad Alam, Zaid Alam, Ali Zaryab, Arshad Iqbal, Muhammad Mohsin Khan, Muhammad Musa, Saad Khan, Rohail Nazir (wk), Munir Riaz, Suleman Shafqat, Imran Shah, Mohammad Taha
South Africa: Raynard van Tonder (c), Matthew Breetzke, Gerald Coetzee, Jade de Klerk, Jean du Plessis, Fraser Jones, Wandile Makwetu, Akhona Mnyaka, Andile Mokgakane, Kgaudisa Molefe, Jason Niemand, Thando Ntini, Jiveshan Pillay, Hermann Rolfes, Kenan Smith. –ICC