Australia, Pakistan eyeing for record in U-19 World Cup

Friday, January 29, 2010

CHRISTCHURCH - Australia and Pakistan will vie to become the first country to win the junior cricket World Cup thrice when they clash in the final at Burt Sutcliffe Oval here Saturday.

Australia won the trophy in 1988 and in 2002 while Pakistan won back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2006. Australia’s victories came in its own backyard and in New Zealand while Pakistan won the events in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

However, it is Pakistan which leads the head-to-head clash 4-2.

The fourth-seeded Pakistan is yet to lose a match in the tournament, having won all its three group stage matches before overpowering defending champion India by two wickets in a thrilling quarter-final and the West Indies in the semi-final by four wickets.

In contrast, sixth-seeded Australia lost its group stage match by two wickets in a high-scoring thriller in Queenstown before ending the challenge of Sri Lanka in the semi-final by two wickets.

Looking forward to the final, Pakistan captain Azeem Ghumman said: “The team is feeling good and confident. We came into the tournament convinced that we could do well.

“We have been together as a team now for a long time and this is a big factor in the way we have gelled as a team.

“The important thing for us is that we have to get through the first 10 or 15 overs. We have been relying heavily on our middle-order so we are just asking our top-order batsmen to stay there. If we can get through the first 10 overs, then we can build a good score.

Australian captain Mitchell Marsh hoped his side would stick to the basics. “If we can go out there Saturday and do the basics better than Pakistan, then things might go our way.”

“Obviously, Pakistan has a fairly good batting line-up and a few good spinners, so well be looking to counter them. Weve got full respect for Pakistan and in the final anything can happen, so were just looking forward to it.”


Australia (from): Mitchell Marsh (captain), Tim Armstrong, Tom Beaton, Nick Buchanan, Jackson Coleman, Luke Doran, Ben Dougall, Jason Floros, Josh Hazlewood, Alex Keath, Nic Maddinson, Alister McDermott, Kane Richardson, Tom Triffitt, Adam Zampa.

Pakistan (from): Azeem Ghumman (captain), Abdul Ameer, Ahmad Shahzad, Ahsan Ali, Anop Ravi, Fayyaz Butt, Hammad Azam, Muhammad Babar Azam, Muhammad Naeem, Muhammad Waqas, Rameez Aziz, Raza Hasan, Sarmad Bhatti, Shahzaib Ahmed, Usman Qadir.

Umpires: Richard Kettleborough, Kumar Dharmsena, Brian Jerling (third), Norman Malcolm (fourth).

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