Hindustan Times (Delhi)
Afghanistan create history, beat Kiwis to enter semis
NEW DELHI: The Hagley Oval witnessed a red-letter day in the history of the ICC U-19 World Cup as Afghanistan thrashed hosts New Zealand by 202 runs on Wednesday to enter the semi-final for the first time.
New Zealand, who were undefeated in the league stages and were favourites heading into the contest, were given a shock by Afghanistan who put up a brilliant show to dump them out of the competition.
After opting to bat, Afghanistan got off to a great start with Rahmanullah Gurbaz (69) and Ibrahim Zadran (68) scoring fifties. The 117-run stand was bro- ken by Sandeep Patel but the stage was set for Bahir Shah to display his mettle. The 17-yearold from Kunar, who has been making big waves in first-class cricket with an average of 121, ensured that the start was not wasted and struck 67 off 72 balls.
However, it was Azmatullah Omarzai’s knock which deflated New Zealand totally by blasting a fifty off just 19 balls. His 66 off 23 balls, studded with three fours and seven sixes took Afghanistan to 309/6.
NZ BLOWN AWAY
In response, New Zealand started off disastrously and was reduced to 20/4 with off-spinner Mujeeb Zadran picking up two early wickets. The disastrous start put New Zealand out of the contest and it was only a matter of time before Afghanistan eyed victory. Brief scores: Afghanistan 309-6 in 50 overs (R Gurbaz 69, I Zadran 68, B Shah 67*, A Omarzai 66; S Patel 2-13) vs New Zealand 107 all out in 28.1 overs (K
Clarke 38, D Philips 31; M Zadran 4-14, Q Ahmad 4-33)
QUEENSTOWN: An unbeaten India will start overwhelming favourites but will have to guard against complacency against a tricky Bangladesh in the quarterfinals here on Friday. Three-time champions India were hardly tested in the league stage where they thumped Australia, Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe to top Group B.