Images: Pakistan vs Scotland | Images: Australia vs Nepal
Australia and Pakistan registered massive wins over qualifying nations, even as Sri Lanka got its stuttering campaign back on track on the third day of the ICC Under-19 World Cup in Queensland, on Monday.
A century and a hat-trick featured in the host nation’s 212-run win over Nepal, while
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam’s hundred took his team over the line against Scotland.
The West Indies (Group C) too registered their second win in as many matches when they bested Papua New Guinea, joining Australia (Group A) and Pakistan (Group B) as the undefeated teams in the competition so far.
Meanwhile, things are headed to a tight finish in Group D as Sri Lanka (one win from two matches), Bangladesh (one from two) and South Africa (one from one) brace themselves for a deadlock, which will likely be decided on net run-rate.
Group A: Bancroft, Conway star for Australia
New South Wales’ quick Harry Conway claimed a hat-trick and Western Australia’s Cameron Bancroft struck a century as Australian U19’s thrashed Nepal by 212 runs.
Nepal captain Prithu Bastoka, who was on debut along with nine other players in his side, won the toss and sent Australia into bat.
It was a determined batting performance by members of the Australia top-order. Bancroft and Kurtis Patterson combined for a 160-runs partnership for the second wicket, a record for an Australia side at an ICC U19 Cricket World Cup, before Patterson was dismissed for 86 (87b, 5x4, 2x6), bowled by Krishna Karki.
Bancroft got into his stride and continued on with a blistering innings, making 125 (139b,7x4, 2x6) before being dismissed by a superb catch at deep mid-wicket by Sagar Pun.
Nepal bowlers and fielders were cheered on by a crowd of buoyant Nepalese supporters, and had success in dismissing middle-order Queensland batsmen Nick Stevens (1) and Sam Hain (9).
Australia ended its innings with an intimidating 294 for seven, leaving Nepal with a challenging chase.
Conway’s hat-trick took the wind out of the Nepal top-order, bowling a good line and length to take out the stumps of Predeep Airee (one), Naresh Budhaayer and Baskota.
The rest of the batting order failed to fire after Conway’s opening spell. Pun and Rajesh Pulami Magar proved to be the best of the Nepal batsman with 21 and 22 runs respectively.
Conway was really pleased to be given the new ball and thought luck helped him achieve a hat-trick.
Brief score: Australia 294 for seven, 50 overs (Cameron Bancroft 125, Kurtis Patterson 86l Pradeep Airee 2-40, Rahul Vishvakarma 2-50) bt Nepal 82 all out, 23.5 overs (Sagar Pun 22, Pulami Magar 21; Ashton Turner 4-28, Harry Conway 3-15); MOM: Cameron Bancroft.
Group B: Azam leads from the front for Pakistan
Pakistan stayed on track in Group B with a no-nonsense nine wicket win over qualifier Scotland at Kev Hackney Oval on the Sunshine Coast.
Scotland produced the highest score of any of the four qualifiers in action on Monday, reaching 200 before being dismissed in the final over, but Pakistan hardly missed a beat on the way to victory as it rumbled to 204 for one in 36.2 overs.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam brought up his century with a six and then, with the scores tied, wrapped up the result with a four off the next ball to finish unbeaten on 106 (120b, 10x4, 2x6).
The 17-year-old skipper from Lahore opened the innings, and, with Sami Aslam (78: 79b, 13x4) put on 163 for the opening wicket to ensure a swift chase.
Left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz was hard to get away, with the 18-year-old snaring four for 20 from 10 overs, including a maiden.
Opener Ross Maclean (59: 101b, 2x4) fought hard at the top of the order while Freddie Coleman (39: 60b) did likewise in the middle order against the disciplined Pakistan attack.
Brief Score: Scotland 200 in 49.5 overs (Ross McLean 59, Fred Coleman 39, Ruaidhri Smith 34; Mohammad Nawar 4-20, Ehsan Adil 2-37) lost to Pakistan 204 for one in 36.2 overs (Babar Azam 106 n.o., Sami Aslam 78); MOM: Babar Azam.
Group C: Ambris powers West Indies to easy win
A blazing 91 from just 43 balls by opener Sunil Ambris has helped the West Indies maintain its early tournament winning form with a nine wickets win over qualifiers Papua New Guinea.
The West Indies did not allow PNG a hint of a chance in a comprehensive showing at Endeavour Field No.2 in Townsville.
PNG was held to 116 from 41 overs, before Ambris blasted nine fours and seven sixes in his rapid-fire innings to sweep the West Indies to 117 for one from just 11.4 overs.
Ambris, from the Windward Islands, was so dominant in the shortened innings that the next highest score was that of captain Kraigg Brathwaite (17 not out; 25b, 2x4).
Amidst the batting carnage, PNG new-ball bowler Raymond Haoda, the leading overall wicket-taker in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2010, kept his composure on the way to no wicket for 7 from three overs.
Earlier, left-arm quick Jerome Jones and all-rounder Kyle Mayers both claimed three wickets apiece. Jones snapped up three for 15 from 10 overs, including three maidens, while Mayers returned three for 12 from four overs.
PNG captain Chris Kent again fought hard for his side, top-scoring with 39 (62b, 5x4, 1x6) but with seven batsmen dismissed in single figures, it was always going to be a huge ask against the in-form Caribbean line-up.
Brief score: Papua New Guinea 116 in 41 overs (Chris Kent 39, Chad Soper 23, Nogel Boge 21; Jerome Jones 3-15, Kyle Mayers 3-12; Akeal Hosein 2-23) lost to West Indies 117 for one, 11.4 overs (Sunil Ambris 91); MOM: Sunil Ambris.
Group D: Sri Lanka gets campaign back on track
Sri Lanka bounced back from the disappointment of losing its opening round clash to Bangladesh with a clinical showing against qualifier Namibia on Monday at Allan Border Field.
A more rounded batting card, with five batsmen passing 30 and two scoring half centuries, ensured that Sri Lanka produced a highly competitive 298 for eight.
All-rounder Lahiru Madushanka, who scored 45, capped off a fine match with his four for 15 from six overs helping bowl out Namibia for 103 after 35 overs.
Earlier, opener Sebastian Perera top-scored with 69 (84b, 7x4) and Sandun Weerakkody (50, 45b, 3x4, 1x6) were the key contributors for Sri Lanka.
Namibia lost paceman Jano Coetzee to injury early in the day. Coetzee’s absence was offset by Zhivago Groenewald, a right-arm paceman who took three for 49 from nine overs.
Brief score: Sri Lanka 258 for nine in 50 overs (Sebastian Perera 69, Sandun Weerakkody 50, Lahiru Madushanka 45, Pabasara Waduge 39, Niroshan Dickwella 38; Zhivago Groenewald 3-49, Wian van Vuuren 2-65) bt Namibia 103 in 35 overs (Wian van Vuuren 38, Gerhard Erasmus 26; Lahiru Madushanka 4-15, Amila Aponso 2-17, Tharindu Kaushal 2-19); MOM: Sebastian Perera.