Pakistan under-19 cricket team defeats Australians by 49 runs in the third one-dayer at the Albert Cricket Ground, Melbourne. This is an encouraging feat by the Pakistani teenagers after they succumbed to a crushing defeat recently by Afghanistan in the Under-19 Asia Cup final in Kuala Lumpur.
The main highlights of the match were some brilliant performances. Zaid Alam scored magnificent 128 runs, three wickets by Suleman Shafqat and an incredible catch taken by eighteen year old Saad Khan at covers. Ali Zaryab smashed 56 runs of 46 deliveries.
Pakistan chose to bat first and scored 309 while the Australian side could manage to score 260 with the loss of 9 wickets in 50 overs.
Australian openers responded well with a 103 run stand in 21 overs. Ryan Hackney batted brilliantly for his 109 run innings. Aaron Hardie, who led the home side on Sunday, was the only other batsman to enter double digits with a 16 ball 28 runs innings. Oliver Davies and Neil Smith took two wickets each. Pakistan won the first match while second one-day was abandoned due to rain on Friday.
Pakistan Under-19 team is a good balance of emerging young players with a tremendous amount of scope to excel as Pakistan’s rising future stars. Players like Zaid Alam, Ammad Alam, Ali Zaryab, Rohail Nazir, Hassaan Khan, Suleman Shafqat and Shaheen Shah Afridi are enormously talented and well-groomed to perform outstandingly. Pace bowler Shaheen Afridi is the one to watch after a sensational first-class debut in which he took eight wickets in an innings. The left-armed pacer made a record debut for Khan Research Laboratory against Rawalpindi, grabbing eight wickets for 39 in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
Now with the series win, Pakistan U-19 team is poised to go with confidence sky high into this month’s ICC U-19 World Cup in New Zealand.