Australia reached the final of the ICC Under 19 World Cup 2024 as they beat Pakistan by one wicket in a thrilling second semi-final on Friday, February 09 at Willowmoore Park, Benoni. Defending a small total of 179, Pakistan bowlers showed great heart as they left Australia reeling at 164/9 with 16 runs away from a win.
Tailender Raf MacMillan (19* off 29) and Callum Vidler (2* off 9) weren’t willing to give up as they brought the equation down to three needed off the last over. Right-arm seamer Mohammad Zeeshan was given the responsibility to defend two runs for Pakistan. However, much to his dismay, MacMillan got an inside edge on the first delivery which ran towards the fine-leg boundary for a four shattering Pakistan’s hopes of reaching the finals.
Notably, Pakistan had one extra fielder inside the ring as they failed to complete their 50 overs in time. As per the ICC (International Cricket Council) rules, the fielding team is penalized for not completing their overs in the stipulated time by bringing an extra fielder inside the 30-yard circle for the remaining overs which are left to be bowled after the cut-off time.
In Pakistan’s case, that fielder was brought in from fine leg, the very place they conceded the boundary on the first ball of the last over. Hence, not completing their overs in time cost them dearly and became one of the reasons behind them being knocked out of the tournament.
Tom Straker registered best bowling figures in U-19 World Cup knockouts
After being put in to bat first, Pakistan were bundled out for 179 with half-centuries from Azan Awais (52 off 91) and Arafat Minhas (52 off 61). For Australia, right-arm seamer Tom Straker starred with the ball with figures of 6/24 in 9.5 overs. Notably, it was also the best bowling performance in the knockout stages of the U-19 World Cup ever.
In reply, Harry Dixon (50 off 75) and Oliver Peake (49 off 75) starred with the bat for Australia while Ali Raza picked up 4/34 for Pakistan. Following their thrilling win, Australia will take on the five-time champions India in the final on Sunday, February 11 at Willowmoore Park, Benoni.
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