SA dump Pak to set up title clash with India

Published: Saturday, March 1, 2008, 13:03 [IST]
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Kuala Lumpur: South Africa crushed defending champions Pakistan by 98 runs (D/L method) in a rain-hit semi-final on Saturday to set up a clash with India in the under-19 World Cup final.

Pakistan, set a revised target of 252 in 47 overs in a match spread over two days due to bad weather, were shot out for 153, dashing their hopes of a third successive title in cricket's premier junior event.

Off-spinner Mohammad Vallie lifted South Africa home with 4-25 as opener Ahmad Shehzad played a lone hand for Pakistan with a fluent 60 containing six boundaries and a six.

Proteas captain Wayne Parnell and Roy Adams chipped in with two wickets each as Pakistan lost their last eight wickets for 67 runs.

The day-night final will be played at the Kinrara Oval on Sunday with a reserve day set aside in case of bad weather.

The semi-final was carried over to a second day after rain on Friday brought play to an early end with Pakistan on 86-2 from 18.5 overs in reply to South Africa's challenging 260-8.

Pakistan were unlucky to bow out after needing only five runs in seven balls if the stipulated 20 overs had been bowled on Friday.

When play finally began two hours and 20 minutes late on Saturday -- due to a wet outfield caused by heavy overnight rain -- Pakistan made the worst possible start.

Umar Amin, who was on 22 overnight after sharing a 69-run stand for the third wicket with Shehzad, fell first ball to a brilliant piece of stumping by wicketkeeper Bradley Barnes.

Barnes collected a delivery from Pieter Malan bowled wide down the leg-side and whipped off the bails with left-handed Amin short of his crease.

Pakistan were dealt a blow when star batsman Ali Asad was given out LBW to Adams by Sri Lankan umpire Tyron Wijewardene even though the ball appeared to pitch outside leg stump.

South Africa removed danger man Shehzad and Umair Mir in the space of three balls to leave Pakistan in tatters at 124-6 in the 30th over.

Shehzad miscued a lofted on-drive off Adams to point and Mir was bowled by Vallie for no score.

Vallie then took three of the last four wickets to seal Pakistan's fate.

South Africa, put in to bat first posted a solid 260/8 in stipulated 50 overs, thanks to the fine half-centuries by Jon Smuts (58), Rilee Rossouw (53) and Jonathan Vandiar (50).

Smuts and Rossouw put on 91 for the second wicket after opener Pieter Malan had fallen for 15 in the eighth over, caught behind off seamer Ali Asad.

Off-spinner Shehzad removed both Rossouw and Smuts, but Vandiar hit a run-a-ball 50 to boost the total.

South Africa, who were comfortably placed at 219-4 in the 45th over, lost three wickets for seven runs before Reeza Hendricks smashed an unbeaten 27 off 17 balls to lift his team past the 250-run mark.

Pakistan captain Imad Wasim was the most successful bowler, claiming 3-44 with his accurate left-arm spin. Seamer Mohammad Rameez and Shahzad picked up two wickets each.

"Bradley's stumping had a huge role to play," said a beaming South African coach Ray Jennings. "We planned that dismissal."

Pakistani coach Mansoor Rana said the early setback cost his team dearly.

"The idea was to bat around Amin who would be the anchor at one end while the others went for the runs," said Rana.

"I told the boys to forget what happened on Friday and see it as a 29-over game in which we needed 166 more. But losing Amin off the first ball changed the whole game."

Jennings said he looked forward to the final against India, who beat his team by six wickets in the preliminary league.

"We are the underdogs because there are huge expectations on India, but I like it that way," he said.

"We have had a tough semi-final and the boys will be playing for a third day in a row, but they are in good spirits for the final."

Brief Scores:

South Africa 260/8 in 50 overs (Jon Smuts 58, Rossouw 53, Jonathan Vandiar 50, Hendricks 27; Imad Wasim 3 for 44, Shahzad 2 for 35, Rameez 2 for 48) beat Pakistan 150 all out in 39.3 overs (Shahzad 60, Umar Amin 22; Vallie 4 for 25, Adams 2 for 22, Parnell 2 for 39) by 98 runs (D/L method).


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