Blogger HR reviews Pakistan U19s success in the group stages :
The Pakistan U-19 world cup campaign is off to a great start with wins against the West Indies, Papua New Guinea and a last over thrilling victory against the Bangladeshi tigers. The architect of these victories has been none other than another Akmal but with a different second name, the star I am talking about is called Babar Azam. Babar Azam is the cousin of the Akmal brothers and plays as an opener who can bowl 10 overs of off spin. Babar averages a strong 46.72 in youth cricket for the 12 matches that he has played for Pakistan U-19s. The highlight of this young man’s fresh career has been the 129 he scored against West Indies in the opening match of the U-19 World Cup. Babar an aggressive opener required a mere 132 balls to get to the score of 129, the aggression seems to be the blood of the Akmal family. In the same match Babar was able to bag two West indies wickets while under pressure after the Caribbean openers set a good platform for the chase adding 120 runs for the first wicket, Usman Qadir broke the opening stand but it was Babar who wrecked the West Indian middle order sending 2 batsmen back to the pavilion for ducks, eventually ended up with a bowling figures of 2-35 after the big hundred he scored earlier in the day and won the man of the match award.
The second match was against Papua New Guinea where Usman Qadir shattered the batting line up of the minnows taking a bagful of 4 wickets sending their batsmen for one run less than a 100. Chasing a small target of 100 experimenting was Azeem Ghumam by sending Ahsan Ali to open instead of Babar Azam although it didn’t made much of a difference as Babar was in the crease the 3rd ball of the opening over after Ahmed Shehzad was sent packing for a duck, in the very next over the 2nd opener Ahsan Ali was back in the hut and Pakistan was dashed to 0 for the loss of 2 wickets. In comes Azeem Ghummam who along with ideal support from Babar Azam steered Pakistan to a comfortable position, Babar ended the match in style by being not out till the last ball of the match and scoring a good enough 40 runs.
The 3rd match was against Bangladesh, calling them minnows will be injustice to this extremely talented team. Batting first Bangladesh posted a challenging total of 250 after some economical bowling from Usman Qadir & Shahzaib Ahmed. Chasing the tricky total Azeem Ghumam avoided mistakes & sent the regular openers to start the chase, it paid dividend after both the openers added a century stand finally breaking on 104 after Ahmed Shehzad got out for a steady 52 from 95 balls. The hero of the match once again Babar Azam who had other plans, scoring 91 runs proved enough for a victory & a second man of the match award for this young emerging star.
Pakistan has now stormed to the quarter finals & now will have to play some more competitive cricket where they will be facing good sides and hopefully we will see some more promising performances from the stars of the future. Another emerging talent is Usman Qadir son of former test cricketer Abdul Qadir, after learning the craft of leg spin bowling from his father he has already won matches for Pakistan U-19 and he along with Babar Azam might become the find of the tournament, Danish Kaneria should start biting his nails & so should the Pakistani national openers. The 129 scored by Babar Azam is his highest score ever which just highlights the attitude of this youngster giving away his best effort on the big stage is a great achievement. Let’s hope Pakistan wins back the U-19 World Cup once again from the rivals India.
8 years ago