CHRISTCHURCH: Pakistan beat South Africa to storm into the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup semifinals at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Wednesday.
Pakistan has won the toss and elected to field at the Hagley Oval. Their pacers can be lethal with favouring conditions early in the morning.
Pakistani openers have got off to a positive start. Despite some good fast bowling by the South African pacers, Muhammad Zaid and Rohail Nazir have looked to attack.
South Africa have done well to bat out the 50 overs, but they would be disappointed for not having reached the 200-run mark. Barring Wandile Makwetu’s half-century and some handy contribution by Jason Niemand, South Africa’s batting was forgetful. It was an impressive pace bowling display by the Pakistanis after winning the toss.
190 is still a tricky chase, especially for Pakistan, who don’t have the most reliable batting order. South African will have to be at their best to avoid an elimination at this stage.
It’s not the bowling anymore which is causing discomfort to the South African batsmen. They are running themselves out. A couple of poor calls has cost them two wickets in the death overs. Not that Pakistan has been top-class on the field, but they have done well in crucial moments like these. Eight wickets down and South Africa are under a real threat of getting bowled out.
Both Pakistan and South Africa have some interesting tactics at play. South Africa have brought in Jade de Klerk at the fall of the sixth wicket. They aren’t looking to up the tempo as yet and saving the big-hitting Gerald Coetzee for the last 10 overs. Pakistan, on the other hand, is done using 10 overs from Muhammad Musa and seven from Shaheen Afridi before the start of the final powerplay. Zaid Alam, who didn’t bowl in the first 40, has been brought on for the final powerplay.
The right arm seamer comes back into the attack and strikes right away. Wandile Makwetu pulls a short-pitched delivery but fails to time it well and holes out to the fielder at fine leg. A big breakthrough for Pakistan. Musa finishes with impressive figures of 3 for 29 from his 10 overs.
Wandile Makwetu has played a superb counter-attacking cricket to bring up his half-century (off only 47 balls) and more importantly, helped South Africa’s innings get some momentum. As the rest of the batsmen have struggled so far today, Makwetu’s knock has added some pace to the innings.
Mohammad Musa’s double blow has left South Africa reeling at 43 for 4 in 15 overs. The seamer has ensured that the pressure applied by Shaheen Afridi’s pace is well backed up. With the top four back in the pavilion, Pakistan would be satisfied with the outcome of the first hour of play. The Pacers have taken good advantage of the conditions and delivered results. They will have to back this effort up well for the rest of the game.
Shaheen Afridi is continuing his good run in the tournament and his form in the match. He knocks back Jiveshan Pillay’s stumps with a scrambled seam delivery. Committing to the shot early, the opener ends up getting an inside edge on to the stumps. Both the openers depart after spending some time at the crease.
South African batsmen have been very cautious, to begin with. Shaheen Afridi’s pace has proved troublesome while Arshad Iqbal’s strict line of attack to go with a bit of seam movement hasn’t allowed the South African batsmen to get going. Afridi has struck already as Matthew Breetzke is undone by a bit of pace. He top edges a cut off the pacer to Rohail Nazir.