Watch: Pakistan Players Devastated After Losing U-19 World Cup Semi-final to Australia

Published By: Ritayan Basu

Last Updated: February 09, 2024, 15:39 IST

Pakistan's Ubaid Shah looks devastated (X/ICC)

Pakistan’s Ubaid Shah looks devastated (X/ICC)

Pakistan players broke down on the field after losing to Australia by just one wicket in the ICC Under 19 World Cup 2024 semi-final.

Pakistan fell short of the slightest of margins to book their ticket to the final of the ICC Men’s Under-19 World Cup, underway in South Africa. The Asian side had to overcome Australia in the second semi-final. It turned out to be a gripping affair as the winners were confirmed in the last over. After Australia claimed a narrow one-wicket victory in the nervy clash, the Pakistan cricketers broke down on the field. Including captain Saad Baig, many players were left inconsolable as tears were coming down their cheeks. Some of the Pakistani coaching staff later came to the ground to console them.

After everything was wrapped up in Benoni, Pakistan skipper Baig shared his thoughts in the post-match press conference. He backed the other members of the squad, underlining their tremendous fighting spirit. “Difficult to be the losing team, but we were short by 20-30 runs. We put in 100 percent effort. They played well. The boys fought well,” the 17-year-old said.

Hosted on a sluggish surface, the semi-final match saw Pakistan set a target of 180 runs. While only three batters could manage a two-digit score, Azan Awais and Aarafat Minhas notched half-centuries, helping their team reach a worth-fighting total in the first innings.

ALSO READ | ‘What a Fightback’: Netizens Heartbroken as Pakistan Suffer Close Defeat Against Australia in ICC U19 WC Semi-finals

Ton Straker was the top-performing bowler for Australia. The right-arm pacer claimed a six-wicket haul, giving away only 24 runs during his spell. It is the best bowling figures ever recorded in a knockout game at the U-19 World Cup.

Pakistan made a promising start with the ball. Australian opener Harry Dixon scored a composed fifty but got no assistance from the other top-order batters. The next highest score was of Ollie Peake, who came in to bat after Australia lost three wickets between 25 to 40 overs. He missed the half-century by just one run but brought his side back to the contest.

Australia needed three runs in the final over with one wicket in hand. Pakistan had to place an extra fielder inside the 30-yard circle as they had wasted time in between overs. The first delivery off Zeeshan Ahmed found the inside edge of Australian vice-captain Raf MacMillan. Ubaid Shah, who was fielding at the short fine leg, chased the ball but failed to stop it from reaching the boundary.

Australia will square off against defending champions India in the 2024 U-19 World Cup final on February 11.

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