Pakistan U-19 return victorious

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Pakistan U-19 return victorious

Captain Sami Aslam and left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar helped Pakistan Under-19 to lift the Tri-nation trophy in England.

By Liaqat Ali

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Published: Fri 23 Aug 2013, 10:16 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 6:50 PM

On the back of a brilliant 110 by Sami and Gohar’s four-wicket haul for 25, Pakistan registered a comprehensive 192-run win over England Under-19 in the final of the tri-series tournament at Trent Bridge. The third team in the tournament was Bangladesh.

Sami struck 10 fours during his 121-ball 110, and put up a mammoth-163 run partnership for the third wicket with Shayan Jahangir, who scored 85 off 70 balls. Kamran Ghulam played a gem of an innings by smashing eight fours and two sixes during his unbeaten 32-ball 61 to take the visitors to 343 for 6 in 50 overs.

In reply, England stumbled to 31 for 2 after the first 10 overs as openers Jonathan Tattersall and Harry Finch fell to left-arm seamer Mohammad Aftab. Ryan Higgins, with an unbeaten 70 was the only batsman to offer resistance as Pakistan kept up the pressure.

England were ultimately bowled out for 151 and Pakistan won the final by 192 runs.

On their way back the Pakistan Under-19 made a stopover in the UAE.

A cricket enthusiast and businessman Nasir Ramzan arranged a dinner to honour the youngsters in a Dubai hotel. After attending the dinner the team left straight for airport because they had to take a flight to Pakistan.

While talking to Khaleej Times exclusively U-19 captain Sami said: “It was a tough tour for us because those conditions were almost alien to us where the ball moves and seams but it turned out to be a wonderful tour and the victory was an icing on the cake.

“Everybody knows how difficult it is to beat England in their own backyard. We were able to do that in an emphatic style.

“It was a team effort and it was the result of our preparation we have gone through under the eyes of National Cricket Academy in Lahore.”

There is no international cricket in Pakistan and it hurting the development of the game a lot.

Pakistan Cricket Board is trying its best to give the youngsters exposure by organising the foreign tours.

“The PCB is leaving no stone unturned to provide us ample chances to improve our game. Experienced coaches at the NCA are a big help for the youngsters to hone their skills and the game is going in the right direction,” the captain said.

Ali Zia, the manager, praised the boys for their performance by saying: “It was a good learning curve for the boys and they adjusted well on the tour.

“It is not easy for the boys of the subcontinent to succeed in those conditions but they learned quickly and won the trophy.

“We are happy with the efforts by the PCB as it is organising a number of tournaments for different age categories for youngsters.

“We are trying our best to inculcate the proper habits in the boys in the start of their careers. The main focus is on technique, fitness and fielding. We hope this batch will be a success in future.”

Azam Khan, the coach of the team, said: “We are satisfied with the facilities provided to the boys by the PCB and the NCA.

“The youngsters have set an example on and off the field. They worked hard and won most of the matches with ease.

“Being ambassadors of Pakistan, their behaviour was exemplary and we expect every Pakistani player to behave in the same way.”

The businessman who hosted the dinner in the honour of the team said: “We are proud of these juniors who have performed well in England and we hope these will be the stars of Pakistan in future.

“I have watched every match in England and it is a good sign for Pakistan cricket.”

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