They Pak a punch
PAKISTAN'S bid for a third Under-19 Cricket World Cup is on track after a convincing five-wicket victory over New Zealand at Buderim yesterday.
The win means Pakistan enters the quarter-finals as one of four undefeated sides - along with Australia, the West Indies and South Africa - and will face India to book a spot in the semi-finals.
As runner-up in the group, NZ will face the in-form West Indies.
The Kiwi batsmen had first use of the willow and managed to make some starts, but all failed to get beyond 35 as Pakistan's bowling attack restricted them to 8-152.
Pakistan vice-captain Uman Waheed said the side was happy with the win and pleased to see Ehsan Adil (2-21) and Zia-ul-Haq (2-27) hitting their straps when it mattered.
"The bowlers were very good and it was a good comeback for them because they had not been so good in the last two matches," Waheed said.
"So that was a good sign that the bowlers had done their job.
"We are very happy with the match and thanks to New Zealand for the game. The boys played very well and it is a good sign for the next matches."
Pakistan chased down the total with plenty of time to spare and Waheed said it was a boost to have three straight wins on the board.
"It's a good sign for the whole team that we haven't had a defeat and in Townsville, we'll look to play again as a unit and hopefully win our matches," he said.
"Myself, today I got out on the second or third ball, but I scored well in the last two games and I'm very happy."
Kiwi opener Ben Horne said it was disappointing to finish the group stage with a loss, but the side was confident it could match it with the all-conquering West Indians.
"It was disappointing for the boys today, but I think there were a lot of positives we can take out of that," he said.
"We've got some good performances on the board and we're confident we can come up with a good performance in Townsville.
"I think the way we fought in the field today in getting five wickets and putting them under pressure was good, so that fight we showed today is something we take into the quarter-finals.
"We played the West Indies in the warm-up match and got a good win under our belts, but obviously it's a different stage of proceedings now and they are on fire.
"But I'm confident the boys can get up and give them a good run."
New Zealand 8-152
(Walsh 33, Young 29; Adil 2-21)
(ul-Haq 40, Ali 32; van Woerkom 2-43)
Pakistan won by five wickets