Under-19 World Cup semi-final halted by rain

Published: Saturday, March 1, 2008, 11:19 [IST]
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Heavy rain brought play to an early end in the under-19 World Cup semi-final day-night clash between Pakistan and South Africa here on Friday.

The teams will return to the Kinrara Oval on Saturday to finish the match with Pakistan, chasing a revised target of 252 from 47 overs, on 86-2 after 18.5 overs.

The defending champions will resume needing a further 166 runs in 28.1 overs with opener Ahmad Shehzad on 40 and Umar Amin on 22.

Earlier, South Africa made 260-8 after being sent in to bat in overcast conditions.

The winner will play India in Sunday's final.

South African captain Wayne Parnell grabbed the wickets of Umar Akmal and Shan Masood with his left-arm seam bowling to reduce Pakistan to 17-2 in the third over.

Shehzad and Amin launched Pakistan's fightback by adding 44 for the third wicket before rain halted play for almost an hour, leading to the revised target of 252.

Pakistan, who were 61-2 in 12 overs at that stage, took the total to 85 without further loss by the 19th when another spell of heavy rain drove the players back to the pavilion.

The players spent the forced rest learning the nuances of the Duckworth-Lewis system for calculating scores in rain-affected matches.

If seven more deliveries had been bowled on Friday to complete a minimum of 20 overs that constitute a match, Pakistan would have needed only five runs to surpass the required score of 91.

Instead, as the rain continued, the defending champions were left to chase their entire revised target of 252 when play resumes on Saturday.

Shehzad and Amin, who have already put on 69 runs for the unbroken third wicket, must take a fresh guard on Saturday to continue Pakistan's victory bid.

South Africa's innings revolved around half-centuries from 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.

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