Young West Indies in quarters
PALMERSTON NORTH, New Zealand (CMC):
West Indies Under-19s are through to the quarter-finals of the ICC Under-19 World Cup, after Pakistan dramatically edged Bangladesh by four wickets in a tense Group D match yesterday.
Pakistan's thrilling victory off the game's penultimate ball confirmed them as group winners with maximum six points and relegated Bangladesh (2) to third, with West Indies (4) finishing runners-up.
West Indies U-19s will play their quarter-final on Saturday against the winners of today's last preliminary Group A match between England and India.
Needing a victory that would have qualified them for a quarter-final spot, Bangladesh scored 250 for five off 50 overs and were beaten by a terrific late innings batting explosion from Pakistan, which needed 39 off the last two overs and snatched victory at 251 for six off 49.5 overs at Fitzherbert Park.
Debutant Mohammad Waqas amazingly ignited the former champions with a blistering 34 not out off 14 balls with three fours and two sixes. Hammad Azam belted 27 not out off 22 balls and his unbeaten 52-run stand with Waqas fashioned the spectacular victory with one ball to spare, that also led to merriment in the West Indies camp.
A Bangladesh win would have produced a three-way tie - on four points - at the top of the standings and in all probability eliminate the young Windies, whose net run-rate is the weakest of the three teams.