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U19 World Cup: Australia clinch humdinger against Pakistan in semifinal, IND vs AUS locked for final

U19 World Cup: Pakistan scored 1790 batting first. Tom Straker took six wickets to derail the Saad Baig-led side's charge with the bat in the first innings.

Edited By: Varun Malik @varunm0212 New Delhi Updated on: February 08, 2024 21:45 IST
Image Source : X Australian players.

Australia have defeated Pakistan in a humdinger of a semifinal to set up a date with India in the final of the U19 World Cup 2024. The Hugh Weibgen's side held its nerves rock solid in a mouth-watering clash at the Willowmoore Park, Benoni and chased down 180 with just 1 wicket in hand.

In the heart-stopper, Australia lost their ninth wicket for 164 and still needed 16 more runs. They kept fighting tooth and nail and got to three needed off the final over. No.8 batter Raf MacMilllan was on strike as Mohammad Zeeshan came to bowl the all-important over in the game. He bowled the first ball on a good length to find the inside edge but the ball rolled away from the stumps towards fine leg. Ubaid Shah ran for his life behind the ball and gave a dive but could not stop the ball from reaching the fence. MacMillan got the Aussies home, finally.

The game ebbed and flowed throughout the second innings. Australia lost four wickets for 59 on the back of some good bowling. But they kept fighting. Opener Harry Dixon held one end up solidly and scored 50 off 75 balls but he was clean bowled by spinner Arafat Minhas when the Aussies were on 102/4 in 26.2 overs. Then came a fighting period as Tom Campbell and Oliver Peake notched up a 44-run stand. It got down to Australia needing 34 runs from less than 12 overs and had five wickets in hand. The game was slowly going away from Pakistan but Ali Raza and Arafat Minhas inspired a sensational comeback, particularly Raza. Minhas broke the stand in the 39th over before Raza took three wickets to bring life back into the contest.  Australia were nine down and needed 16 more. Callum Vidler and Raf MacMillan looked to stand rock solid and kept taking singles. MacMillan played an uppercut in the 48th over to collect four and bring down the target to under ten. MacMillan collected three more runs from the 49 over of Ubaid Shah to bring it to three required from the final over before his inside-edged boundary sealed the contest.

Batting first, the Pakistani side managed to score 179 on the back of fighting fifties from Azan Awais and Arafat Minhas. Notably, Tom Straker dismantled Pakistan as he took a six-wicket haul. 

Australia will now face India for the third time in the U19 World Cup final on February 11 at the same venue in Benoni.


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