Bangalore: A powerful batting display set the tone for Pakistan’s commanding victory in the first semifinal at the Kinrara Academy Oval. In Sunday's final, Pakistan will take on the winners of Friday's second semifinal, between India and Sri Lanka.
Pakistan, opting to bat, amassed 296 for 3 from their 50 overs on the back of three half-centuries. Needing nearly six runs an over, Afghanistan were shot out for 145, Azizullah, the new-ball bowler, doing the bulk of the damage with figures of 4 for 44.
Sami Aslam and Babar Azam, the captain, got Pakistan off to the perfect start, putting on 69 for the first wicket, a platform on which the rest of the batsmen built admirably. Pakistan were well served by stands of 76 for the second wicket, 71 for the third and an unbroken 80 for the fourth as they batted Afghanistan out of the game.
Aslam and Umar Waheed both made 77, the latter at better than a run a ball, and Imam-ul-Haq, batting at No. 3, chipped in with 69.
Afghanistan were rocked by Azizullah and Ehsan Adil, his new-ball partner, and slumped to 55 for four midway through the 11th over. Mohibullah Paak waged a lone battle in top-scoring with 41, but it was too little to make a genuine dent in Pakistan’s progress.
Brief scores: Pakistan U-19: 296/3 in 50 overs (Sami Aslam 77, Babar Azam 33, Imam-ul-Haq 69, Umar Waheed 77 n.o., Mohammad Nawaz 30 n.o.) bt Afghanistan U-19: 145 all out in 40.5 overs (Mohibullah Paak 41; Ehsan Adil 2-20, Azizullah 4-44, Mohammad Nawaz 2-12).