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Holders Pak off to a winning start

Published: Sunday, February 17, 2008, 15:53 [IST]
 
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Kuala Lumpur: Holders Pakistan opened their bid for a third successive under-19 cricket World Cup title with a fluent eight-wicket demolition of hosts Malaysia in the Group-A tie here on Sunday.

Pakistan, who won the last two editions of cricket's premier junior event, needed just one session to complete an easy win over Malaysia in Johor.

The hosts were bowled out for 75 by the 25th over after being given first strike with Adil Raza, a 16-year-old right-arm seamer from Gujranwala, taking 6-29 off his 10 overs.

Left-armer Mohammad Aamer chipped in with 3-11 as nine Malaysian batsmen failed to reach double figures on the easy-paced wicket.

Pakistan surpassed the modest target by the 10th over before the lunch break with Ahmad Shahzad making an unbeaten 27 and Umar Amin 31.

The junior World Cup features the 10 regular cricket nations -- Australia, England, India, Pakistan, West Indies, Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe -- plus five qualifiers and the hosts.

The regional qualifiers are Namibia (Africa), Nepal (Asia), Papua New Guinea (East Asia-Pacific), Ireland (Europe) and Bermuda (Americas).

The 16 teams are divided into four groups with the top two qualifying for the quarter-finals.

The final will be played at the Kinrara Oval here on March 2.

Brief Scores:

Malaysia 75 all out in 24.4 overs (Nik Azril 28; Adil Raza 6 for 29, Mir Amir 3 for 11, Shahzad 1 for 0) lost to Pakistan 76 for 2 in 9.3 overs (Shahzad 27 n o, Umar Amin 31; Ananthasivam 1 for 13, Nik Azril 1 for 16) by 8 wickets

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