Pakistan pulled off a thrilling comeback win against Bangladesh to secure a semifinal berth in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2024 on Friday. The two-time world champions successfully defended 155 runs in the last Super Six stage game of the tournament to finish second in the Group 1 points table.
With a fifth straight win, Pakistan will clash against Group 2 leaders Australia in the second semifinal and the defending champions India will be facing tournament hosts South Africa in the first knockout game. India and Pakistan can potentially face each other in the final for the only second time in tournament history if they register wins in their respective semifinals.
Coming back to the game, Bangladesh captain Mahfuzur Rahman Rabby won the toss and elected to field first at Benoni’s Willowmoore Park. Pacer Mohammad Zeeshan comes in place of Amir Hasan for Pakistan while Bangladesh remained unchanged.
Pakistan lost only one wicket and reached the 50-run mark in the first ten overs as they seemed destined for a big total. But Rohnat Borson kept Bangladesh in the driving seat with early wickets of Shamyl Hussain and Azan Awais and then Sheikh Jibon dominated the middle overs to restrict Pakistan to just 155/10 in 40.4 overs. Arafat Minhas top-scored with 34 runs as only two batters managed to cross the 20-run mark for Pakistan.
To secure a semifinal berth, Bangladesh needed to chase the target in 38.1 overs and opener Jishan Alam provided a quick start by smashing four fours in the first three overs. In-form pacer Ubaid Shah gave Pakistan a breakthrough with Jishan’s wicket in the third over and dismissed Ashiqur Rahman Shibli in the fifth over to balance the game.
Bangladesh batters struggled to find momentum as Pakistani bowlers continued to pick timely wickets. Bangladesh lost the first six wickets with just 83 runs on the scoreboard but Mohammad Shihab James took the game to the wire by top-scoring with 26 runs.
Ubaid made a late impact with two big wickets but Bangladesh refused to give up and almost clinched a famous chase. But the returning pacer Zeeshan bowled out Maruf Midha in the 36th over to earn Pakistan a sensational five-run win. Ubaid took the highest five wickets for 44 while Ali Raza bagged three in Pakistan’s glory to knockouts.
Bangladesh U19 Playing XI: Ashiqur Rahman Shibli (wk), Jishan Alam, Chowdhury Md Rizwan, Ariful Islam, Ahrar Amin, Mohammad Shihab James, Sheikh Paevez Jibon, Mahfuzur Rahman Rabby (c), Rohanat Doullah Borson, Md Iqbal Hossain Emmon, Maruf Mridha
Pakistan U19 Playing XI: Shamyl Hussain, Shahzaib Khan, Azan Awais, Saad Baig (c & wk), Ahmad Hassan, Haroon Arshad, Arafat Minhas, Ubaid Shah, Mohammad Zeeshan, Ali Asfand, Ali Raza