LAHORE - The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2012 got underway in Queensland on Saturday with host Australia belying its patchy lead-up form to open with an impressive six-wicket victory over England while Bangladesh caused the first upset of the event by defeating Sri Lanka by 25 runs.
In the other matches on the opening day, Pakistan defeated Afghanistan by 109 runs on the Sunshine Coast while Zimbabwe had the better of Papua New Guinea (PNG) by 145 runs in Townsville.
Group A: Aus beat Eng: The Australia U19 side had a dream start to its defence of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup with a six-wicket win against arch rival England in Townsville on Saturday. Australia captain Will Bosisto won the toss and elected to bowl on a bouncy wicket at Tony Ireland Stadium. A fantastic all-round bowling effort from Australia saw it restrict England to 143. Australia struck early with West Australia’s Joel Paris taking out English danger-man Daniel Bell-Drummond for a duck. Queensland paceman Mark Steketee claimed the valuable wicket of Ben Foakes. Western Australia’s Ashton Turner claimed the wickets of Ben Duckett (15) and Sam Wood (0) with consecutive deliveries, unfortunately missing his hat-trick with the first ball of his next over.
New South Wales’ quick Gurinder Sandhu was well suited to the bouncy pitch and had a great day with the ball finishing with figures of 9.3-1-27-3. Australia’s run chase got off to a shaky start with the openers James Peirson and Cameron Bancroft falling in the first two overs to a sharp opening spell by the English opening attack. Bosisto and hard-hitting left-handed batsman Travis Head combined well for a match winning fourth wicket stand, enabling Australia to cruise to victory with 15 overs to spare. Head, who was awarded man of the match, hit a solid 57 of 58 balls with six boundaries and a six to combine with Bosisto for a partnership of 93.
Group B: Pak beat Afghan: Determined qualifier Afghanistan had high hopes coming into its opening round clash against Pakistan, but it was soon dashed by the in-form Pakistan line-up. Pakistan batted strongly to score 253 for six, with captain Babar Azam scoring a patient 75 (103b, 7x4) at the top of the order, and Mohammad Nawaz (66; 50b, 7x4, 1x6) andUmar Waheed (43 not out) putting on a potent stand of 103 for the sixth wicket.
Afghanistan, which had earmarked the clash with Pakistan as a key fixture, again got some handy runs from Hashmatullah Shaidi (50; 77b, 3x4) at the top of the order, but it was not enough to mount a challenge to the Pakistan total. Afghanistan was finally dismissed for 144, with left-arm quick Zia-ul-Haq snapping up four for 30 from 8.1 overs. In the other matches in Group C - Zimbabwe defeated Papua New Guinea’s and Group D – Anamul Haque’s century sinks Sri Lanka with Bangladesh making a rousing 25-run win.
Scores in Brief:
Group A - Australia beat England by six wickets, Tony Ireland Stadium, Townsville. England 143 all out, 38.3 overs (Craig Overton 35, Adam Ball 20; Gurinder Sandhu 3-27, Ashton Turner 3-30). Australia 147 for four, 35.1 overs (Travis Head 57 n.o., Will Bosisto 35 n.o.; Reece Topley 2-33, Jamie Overton 2-34). Player of the match – Travis Head (Australia)
Group B - Pakistan beat Afghanistan by 109 runs, John Blanch Oval, Buderim. Pakistan 253 for six, 50 overs (Babar Azam 75, Mohammad Nawaz 66, Umar Waheed 43 n.o.; Sayed Shirzad 2-43, Yamin Ahmadzai 2-54). Afghanistan 144 all out, 45.1 overs (Hashmutallah Shaidi 50, Mohibullah Paak 30; Zia-ul-Haq 4-30, Zafar Gohar 2-25). Player of the match – Babar Azam (Pakistan)
Group C - Zimbabwe beat Papua New Guinea 145, Endeavour Park No 1, Townsville. Zimbabwe 249 all out, 50 overs (Kevin Kasuza 97; Chris Kent 5-45, Ray Haoda 3-43). Papaua New Guinea 145 all out, 38.1 overs (Sese Bau 34; Matthew Bentley 2-20, Luke Jongwe 2-36, Peacemore Zimwa 2-40). Player of the match – Kevin Kasuza (Zimbabwe)
Group D - BD beat Sri Lanka by 25 runs, Allan Border Field, Brisbane. Bangladesh 249 for seven, 50 overs (Anamul Haque 101, Asif Ahmed 84; Sanitha de Mel 3-46). Sri Lanka 224 all out, 48.4 overs (Angelo Jayasinghe 83, Lahiru Madushanka 48; Soumya Sarkar 3-10, Taskin Ahmed 2-44). Player of the match – Anamul Haque (BD).