Junior Proteas create major upset
The hard working South African cricket team created a major upset in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup tournament now in progress in Malaysia when they recorded an emphatic 98 runs on the D/L method to defeat defending champions Pakistan in the rain affected Super League semi final at the Kinrara Oval in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Their win was more of a surprise as they were not in the running during the league stages of the tournament. They picked the remaining eight Pakistan wickets by conceding only 67 runs. Now they move into the final and will meet India tomorrow at the same venue under floodlights.
The game got off to a delayed start in the morning yesterday due to heavy rain. This made play possible only after 11.45 a.m. With the drainage system being at its best and due to the hard work put in by the ground staff, play began within half an hour after the rains ceased.
The game was ruined on Friday with Pakistan on 86 for 2 after 18.5 overs of batting - still needing a further 166 runs off 28.1 overs. The Pakistani batsmen got on the field still seeking the overnight revised target of 252 in 47 overs.
The junior Proteas tasted success almost immediately when they got rid of danger man Umar Amin who had put on a partnership of 72 runs the previous day in the first ball for the day. From there on South Africa took control of the game.
With the addition of another eight runs Pakistan lost another wicket which set them on the back foot. The dismissal of opener Ahamad Shahzad almost hit the nail in the coffin for the Pakstanis. His dogged innings of 60 in 85 balls comprised six boundaries and a six and Pakistan was reeling on 124 for 5 in the 29th over.
Pakistan was dealt a further blow when Umar Mir was sent back to the pavilion at the same score. They never recovered from there on and lost wickets at regular intervals and were ultimately bundled out for 153 in the 40th over.
Earlier South Africa after being sent into bat, put up an impressive 260 for 8 in their allotted 50 overs thanks to half tons from Jon Smutts, Rilee Rossouw and Jonathan Vandiar and a late burst of 27 runs in just 17 balls from Reeza Hendricks.
The win sees South Africa entering the final for the second time. The last time they made it to the final was in 2002 when the team included the present South Africa captain Graeme Smith. They were beaten by three wickets in the final by Australia.
On the other hand it is the third final for India. They were champions in 2000 when it was played in Sri Lanka. That team included present players Yuvraj Singh and Mohamed Kaif and then they played second fiddle to Pakistan in 2006, also in Sri Lanka.
South Africa will be meeting India for the second time in the tournament this time out. The ealrier occasion was in the league encounter where they lost by six wickets which was also played at the Kinrara Oval and with tomorrows final going to be played under floodlights an interesting tussle is on the cards.
Meanwhile, West Indies clinched the Plate Championship when they beat Nepal by seven wickets in the final played at Bayuemas Oval in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Nepal who won the toss and elected to bat first were bowled out for a mere 74 and West Indies reached the target in the 15th over.
The Super League play off final between England and Australia to decide the fifth and sixth places which also took place yesterday at the Royal Selangor Club ground in Kuala Lumpur was abandoned. Australia taking first lease of the wicket in a game curtailed to 24 overs ended their innings making 106 for 7. In reply England were 47 for 2 from 10.5 overs when heavy rains prevented further play.
Super League semi finals:
South Africa 260 for 8 in 50 overs (Jon Smutts 58, Rilee Rousouw 53, Jonathan Vandiar 50, Wayne Parnell 17, Pieter Malan 15, Reeza Hendricks 27 n.o.; Imad Wasim 3 for 44, Ahamed Shahzad 2 for 35, Mohamed Rameez 2 for 48)
Pakistan 153 in 39.3 overs (Ahamad Shahzad 60, Umar Amin 22, Umar Salah-ud-din 16; Yaseen Vallie 4 for 25, Roy Adams 2 for 22, Wayne Parnell 2 for 39)
Nepal 74 in 25.3 overs (Sagar Khadka 17 n.o.; Jason Dawes 4 for 18, Darren Bravo 3 for 9)
West Indies 78 for 3 in 14.2 overs (Kieran Powell 24, Adrian Barath 15, Darren Bravo 24 n.o; Amrit Bhattarai 2 for 25)