ICC U-19 World Cup 2018: Pakistan likely to face stiff challenge from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka in Group D

Pakistan have been one of the better sides in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup over the years. They are the only ones to have won back-to-back titles, in 2004 and 2006, and have also finished runners-up on three other occasions

FirstCricket Staff, Jan,12 2018

Pakistan have been one of the better sides in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup over the years. They are the only ones to have won back-to-back titles, in 2004 and 2006, and have also finished runners-up on three other occasions. In the last edition, they lost to eventual champions the Windies in the quarterfinals.

Hassan Khan, who topped Pakistan’s batting charts with 293 runs in the Bangladesh event and made his first-class debut for Karachi Whites this season, will lead the squad in New Zealand, where the tournament is being held for the third time.

Pakistan

Pakistan is the only teams to have won successive titles, in 2004 and 2006. Image courtesy: ICC

Pakistan could face a stiff challenge from Afghanistan after having lost to them in the final of the U19 Asia Cup. Munir Riaz, who took eight wickets in that tournament, and Shaheen Afridi are the team’s main bowlers.

But the player to watch in this group could be 16-year-old off-spinner Mujeeb Zadran, who not only grabbed five for 13 against Pakistan in that final, but also made a sensational entry into senior international cricket grabbing four for 24 against Ireland in Sharjah for a player of the match debut.

Before the Asia Cup, Afghanistan had remained unbeaten in the Asia Qualifiers to earn an entry into the U19 CWC. Afghanistan had also made an impression in the 2016 World Cup where they won the plate final. Leg-spinner Rashid Khan was one of the key members of that squad and is now one of the leading spinners of the world in ODIs and T20Is.

As for Sri Lanka, they will be led by ambidextrous spinner Kamindu Mendis. He was one of the players in focus at the 2016 U19 CWC, when Sri Lanka finished fourth after losing to Bangladesh by three wickets in the third-place play-off.

Like Mendis, Jehan Daniel was also a part of the team in Bangladesh. Sri Lanka did not qualify for the knockouts of the Asia Cup. Before that the team had traveled to Australia to play a bilateral series, which they lost 1-4. Also watched will be spinner Praveen Jayawickrama, the second-highest wicket-taker in the Asia Cup with 11 wickets.

Ireland made it after winning the European Qualifier. In a thrilling must-win game against Scotland, Ireland prevailed by five runs. Bundled out for 108, Ireland rallied around Joshua Little and Aaron Cawley, who picked up three wickets each, to dismiss Scotland for 103 in 34.5 overs.

Little was one of Ireland’s finds in the 2016 World Cup in Bangladesh, where Ireland beat Canada and Scotland, and put up a good fight against India and New Zealand. He has already represented Ireland in senior international cricket.

This article first appeared on ICC-Cricket.com, reproduced with permission

Published Date: Jan 12, 2018 | Updated Date: Jan 12, 2018




Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4969 124
2 South Africa 3888 111
3 Australia 4174 104
4 New Zealand 3489 100
5 England 4829 99
6 Sri Lanka 4058 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 6386 120
2 India 6680 119
3 New Zealand 6650 117
4 England 6483 116
5 Australia 6077 113
6 Pakistan 4875 96
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 2262 126
2 Pakistan 2843 124
3 India 3385 121
4 England 2029 119
5 West Indies 2538 115
6 South Africa 2238 112