U-19 World Cup: Crunch matches from today

Top Stories

U-19 World Cup: Crunch matches from today

India meet England while Pakistan take on Lanka in ICC U-19 World Cup quarters.

By Adur Pradeep

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Sat 22 Feb 2014, 12:48 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 8:58 PM

The ongoing ICC Under-19 World Cup enters an exciting phase with India taking on England and Pakistan facing Sri Lanka in two high-profile quarter-final clashes on Saturday.

Defending champions India, who topped Group A with three wins from three matches, will meet 1998 winner England, who finished second in Group D at the Dubai Sports City stadium.

Two-time winners Pakistan, who won two matches and lost one in Group A, will take on Sri Lanka, who topped Group D with three wins, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The winners of today’s quarter-final will clash in the semi-finals at the Dubai stadium on Monday.

India start favourites

India hold a 6-1 head-to-head record against England and Vijay Zol’s team are confident ahead of the crunch game. England would be looking forward to repeat their 31-run victory over India when they met last in New Zealand in 2010.

India, despite losing their warm-up matches in UAE, were in excellent form, beating Pakistan, Scotland and Papua New Guinea in the league stage.

While India defeated Pakistan by 40 runs in the opening encounter, they were in a spot of bother after losing five wickets for 22 while chasing 89 for victory against Scotland. India however went on to register a five-wicket victory against the Scots and then thrashed PNG by 245 runs.

The Indian Premier League star Sanju Samson, who made 160 runs so far, and Sarfaraz Khan (153) were the main scorers while Zol is due for a big knock.

Zol, who was a member of the India side that won the tournament in Townsville in 2012, while talking about his team’s chances, said: “It doesn’t matter that we’re playing England in the quarter-final. We have set our standards in all the three departments — batting, bowling and fielding. So, we’d like to live up to our standards. “The league games were really good and competitive, and our team looks in perfect mood and everyone’s in good nick and we are raring to go.

“Kuldeep Yadav has been our main weapon for the last one year now. He has done well in all the tournaments, even in the three World Cup matches.”

Yadav, with eight wickets, is the most successful bowler going into the Super League stage.

On the other hand, England have also performed remarkably in the tourney despite losing a tight match to Sri Lanka by one wicket. But they bounced back in style, beating hosts UAE by 213 runs and New Zealand by 115 runs. England would pin their hopes on Jonathon Tattersall (136 runs), Ryan Higgins (108) and opener Harry Finch (103) for a good total against India. Matthew Fish, Will Rhodes and off-spinner Rob Sayer have taken five wickets apiece.

Rhodes said: “We’re really excited about playing India. They are the defending champion and we have played some good cricket in the tournament so far. We’re feeling confident and really looking forward to the game on Saturday. The group stage was very exciting. All the teams gave in their best and we finally made our place among the eight teams that will play the (Super League) quarter-finals.”

Pakistan hold edge

Pakistan have a 3-1 head-to-head record against Sri Lanka, who are one of the most consistent teams in the U-19 tourney in UAE so far.

Pakistan have won the tournament in 2004 and 2006 when it was staged in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, while the islanders are yet to win the title.

Pakistan suffered a defeat against India in the opener but recovered to beat PNG and Scotland by an identical margin of 145 runs.

On the other hand, Sri Lanka opened the tournament with a 49-run victory over New Zealand, then clinched a thrilling one-wicket win over England and won by eight wickets against the UAE.

Pakistan’s Imam-ul-Haq is the tournament’s leading run-getter with 260 runs, while fellow opener and captain Sami Aslam is also in top form with 129 runs. The two batsmen have provided their side two century opening wicket starts.

In bowling, Karamat Ali has bagged seven wickets while Zafar Gohar has taken six wickets.

The Sri Lanka openers Sadeera Samarawickrama and Hashan Dumindu are also in great form, with both batsmen having centuries against their names. Samarawickrama has scored 156 runs while Dumindu has aggregated 147 runs. Fast bowler Anuk Fernando with seven wickets is Sri Lanka’s most successful bowler, followed by Binura Fernando, who has picked up six wickets. Sami is confident ahead of the crunch game. “We played in three tournaments in the lead up to the World Cup and came here with a lot of confidence. We lost the first match, but I think it was just a bad day as then we defeated Scotland and PNG by huge margins. So, I think the whole team is raring to go and will enter the quarter-final with a lot of confidence.

“Sri Lanka has been playing well so far. They beat England, New Zealand and UAE in its matches. So, I think it will be a good game, and we will try to give our cent per cent.”

Sri Lanka captain Kusal Mendis said: “We have been practising well and won all our three matches. But Pakistan is a good team and they have a good top-order line-up, including their captain.

“We got good confidence after beating England and New Zealand as both are very good sides.”

Meanwhile, Bangladesh will take on Canada and Namibia will meet Zimbabwe in the Plate Championship matches in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. On Sunday, Afghanistan will meet South Africa and Australia will take on the West Indies in the remaining two quarter-finals, while in the Plate Championship matches in Abu Dhabi, the UAE will face Scotland and New Zealand will test Papua New Guinea.

pradeep@khaleejtimes.com


More news from