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Thrilling finishes at the U-19 WC

Dubai, Jan 30 : The 10th edition of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup (ICC U19 CWC) will be staged at seven venues in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from Feb 14 to Mar 1.


Title-holders India will be among the 16 teams in the fray that will play a total of 48 matches between them.

Right from its inaugural edition in Australia in 1988, the tournament has showcased some nail-biting finishes and enthralling finales, with youngsters eager to make their mark on the world stage, giving it their all in an event that has become synonymous with high passion and energy.

Some of the games from the previous nine editions that have provided exciting climaxes and historic feats are mentioned below:

1988 - Australia

28 February - England v India

At Renmark Oval, South Australia: England 172-8, 50 overs (Mike Atherton 80, Mark Ramprakash 46; Sukhvinder Tinku 3-29)

India 173-8, 49.4 overs (Myluahanan Senthilnathan 47, Arjan Kripal Singh 29; Chris Lewis 2-29)

Result: India won by two wickets

The opening day of the inaugural edition saw Match 2 setting the theme for future high-voltage encounters at the ICC U19 CWC. England, which had eight future international players in its ranks, won the toss and batted first. It was given a good platform by a second-wicket stand of 93 between man of the match Mike Atherton and Mark Ramprakash. However, it collapsed thereafter, losing seven wickets for 68 runs and managing only 172-8 from its allotted 50 overs.

In reply, India lost wickets at regular intervals, with only its skipper Senthilnathan passing 40 as he emulated his counterpart Atherton by showing the way. However, just when India looked down and out at 137-8, an unbroken match-winning stand of 36 for the ninth wicket between Janardhanan Ramdas (21) and Venkatapathy Raju(18), helped it scrape home with just two balls to spare.

1998 - South Africa

30 January -South Africa v Sri Lanka

Pollock Pool

At Durban: South Africa 240 all out, 50 overs (Jon Kent 55, Grant Elliott 45; Malinga Bandara 3-44)

Sri Lanka 244-7, 49.5 overs (Chamara Silva 85, Pradeep Hewage 83; Victor Mpitsang 2-61)

Result: Sri Lanka won by three wickets

Tournament host South Africa, which boasted seven future international players, won the toss and batted first. Jon Kent, who went on to play ODIs for South Africa and Grant Elliott, who would later represent New Zealand, helped it post a challenging 240.

Sri Lanka skipper Pradeep Hewage powered his side's chase alongside future ICC Cricket World Cup star Chamara Silva. A dramatic twist in the tale came in the last seven overs, as Sri Lanka, which was cruising at 217-2, lost five wickets for 23 runs in six overs. With the scores level and three balls left, Naren Rattwatte hit his very first ball for a boundary to spark joyous scenes for Sri Lanka at Kingsmead, and quite the reverse for the South Africans as the result meant that New Zealand would join England in the final.

2000 - Sri Lanka

15 January - England v Zimbabwe

Group A

At Colombo Cricket Club: England 187-8, 50 overs (Gary Pratt 68 not out, Jimmy Adams 31; Gavin Ewing 2-27)

Zimbabwe 184-6, 50 overs (Guy Croxford 63 not out, Mluleki Nkala 53; Tim Phillips 3-38)

Result: England won by three runs

England, which was put in to bat, lost its openers Ian Bell and Michael Carberry early. Jimmy Adams and Gary Pratt steadied the ship but Zimbabwe, which had eight future international players in its side, chipped away to restrict England to 187-8.

After a top-order collapse, Zimbabwe was set on course by a fifth-wicket partnership of 103 between Guy Croxford and Mluleki Nkala. However, some tight bowling at the death meant the team from Africa, which needed just 16 runs from its last four overs, would fall four short of its target.

15 January - Ireland v Namibia

Group D

At Colombo (MSCG): Namibia 186-7, 48 overs (Johannes van der Merwe 70, Stefan Swanepoel 39; Andrew White 3-31)

Ireland (target 128 from 36 overs) 127-5, 36 overs (Dom Joyce 43, Andrew White 28; Pieter Burger 2-19)

Result: Match tied (Duckworth-Lewis method)

On the same day as the Group A match between England and Zimbabwe came a thriller of a match between Associate nations Ireland and Namibia. In their curtailed Group D encounter, Ireland restricted Namibia to 186-7 from their allotted 48 overs. Johannes van der Merwe, Stefan Swanepoel and Stefan Ludick were the only three Namibia players to reach double figures, while Andrew White took three wickets.

After more overs were lost in the game, Ireland was given a revised target of 128 from 36 overs, by the Duckworth-Lewis method (D-L method). In conditions that were difficult for batting, Dom Joyce and Andrew White were the only two Ireland batsmen to cross 20. When future international John Mooney departed with 14 runs required from 4.4 overs, the odds were in favour of Ireland, who still had five wickets in hand. However, the sixth-wicket pair of Ryan Haire and Peter Shields left it too late and eventually, Ireland had to be content with sharing the spoils.

2002 - New Zealand

20 January - Australia v Kenya

Group D

At Dunedin: Australia 480-6, 50 overs (Craig Simmons 155, Shaun Marsh 125; Nehemiah Odhiambo 3-97)

Kenya 50 all out, 21 overs (Alfred Luseno 18; Aaron Bird 3-10, Rob Cassell 3-7)

Result: Australia won by 430 runs

A few days before the Bangladesh-India match, those present at Carisbrook had witnessed nowhere near as thrilling a finale but certainly a record-breaking exhibition of destructive, attacking batting from Australia. Right from the time Kenya captain and future international player Ragheb Aga won the toss and opted to bowl first, things went horribly wrong for his side. Opener Craig Simmons blasted 155 off just 115 balls with the help of 12 fours and 11 sixes, while Shaun Marsh, batting at number four, hammered 125 off 81 balls with 12 fours and four sixes.

Chasing an improbable 481 to win, Kenya was skittled for just 50 in 21 overs, with Aaron Bird and Rob Cassell taking three wickets each. Australia, whose line-up featured future international players like Marsh, Cameron White, George Bailey, Daniel Christian and Xavier Doherty, thus created a slew of records - for the highest score, biggest margin of victory and most sixes in an innings.

24 January - Bangladesh v India

Group A

At Auckland: India 77 all out, 32.4 overs (Stuart Binny 17, Siddharth Trivedi 16 not out; Ashiqur Rahman 3-17)

Bangladesh 78-8, 32.2 overs (Aftab Ahmed 19, Ali Arman 12 not out; Siddharth Trivedi 3-24)

Result: Bangladesh won by two wickets

A low-scoring nail-biter at the North Harbour Stadium saw Bangladesh rolling India over for just 77 after winning the toss and bowling first. Stuart Binny and last man Siddharth Trivedi were the only two India batsmen to reach double figures in this engagement. The new-ball pair of Ashiqur Rahman and Shafaq Al Zabir took five wickets between them, as Extras proved to be the highest scorer for India with 18.

A similar pattern unfolded for Bangladesh, which also had the most runs from extras and failed to post any significant partnership. Its innings, though, unravelled more dramatically, as it lost seven wickets for 30 runs, slipping from a comfortable 34-1 to a perilous 64-8. Man of the match Ali Arman and Ashiqur Rahman, however, knocked off the 14 remaining runs to complete a famous win for Bangladesh.

2004 - Bangladesh

18 February - Nepal v South Africa

Group B

At Chittagong: South Africa 156 all out, 50 overs (Keagan Africa 52 not out, Godfrey Stevens 29; Manjeet Shrestha 4-15)

Nepal 158-9, 49.4 overs (Shakti Gauchan 51 not out, Sharad Vesawkar 27; Craig Alexander 3-23)

Result: Nepal won by one wicket

South Africa, which featured the likes of Vernon Philander, Roelof van der Merwe (who played as a wicketkeeper) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld, was dismissed for a below-par 156. Right-arm medium bowler Manjeet Shrestha ripped through the top and middle orders, as South Africa was reduced to 62-7 at one stage. A fine rearguard act from Keagan Africa, however, helped lend his side's total some respectability.

Nepal, featuring current internationals like Paras Khadka, Shakti Gauchan, Basant Regmi and Sharad Vesawkar, also began badly. Skipper Gauchan's unbeaten half-century was the bulwark of its chase. Just as he had done with the bat in the first innings, Africa once again changed the face of the match with the ball. His second spell brought him three quick wickets, as Nepal lost five wickets for the addition of just 20 runs and looked to be self-destructing towards the end at 138-9. Gauchan, however, stood tall amidst the ruins, shepherding his side through to a historic win. Together with last man Sashi Kesari, he put on 20 runs for the last wicket in Chittagong.

2006 - Sri Lanka

18 February - Nepal v New Zealand

Plate Championship final

At Colombo (PSS): New Zealand 204 all out, 49.2 overs (Todd Astle 66, Shaun Fitzgibbon 29; Basant Regmi 3-41)

Nepal 205-9, 49.4 overs (Basant Regmi 66, Ratan Rauniyar 26 not out; Hamish Bennett 3-42)

Result: Nepal won by one wicket

New Zealand, which included future internationals like Todd Astle, Martin Guptill, Ronnie Hira, Tim Southee, Colin Munro and Hamish Bennett, batted first after winning the toss. Apart from opener Astle, no-one from its team could build on starts, and its innings closed on 204.

Nepal's reply stuttered, and when big hope Paras Khadka became the sixth wicket to fall with just 75 runs on the board in the 27th over, it seemed an uphill task for the Associate nation. That's when Basant Regmi capped a fine all-round performance by scoring 66 match-winning runs and combining beautifully with late-order batsmen Prem Chaudhary and Ratan Rauniyar, who scored 26 each. New Zealand thought they could still close it out when man of the match Regmi was sent back and the last pair of Rauniyar and Raj Shrestha needed to score 13 off 10 balls. However, the pair stuck it out to earn Nepal its only Plate Championship, with just two balls to spare.

19 February - India v Pakistan

Final

At Colombo (RPS): Pakistan 109 all out, 41.1 overs (Rameez Raja 25; Piyush Chawla 4-8, Ravindra Jadeja 3-16)

India 71 all out, 18.5 overs (Piyush Chawla 25 not out; Anwar Ali 5-35, Akhtar Ayub 3-9)

Result: Pakistan won by 38 runs

Just like the Plate Championship final, the tournament final after the Super League was also quite dramatic in nature. After winning the toss and batting first, Pakistan, was given a quick start through opener Nasir Jamshed before India spinners Piyush Chawla and Ravindra Jadeja took centre-stage. Leg break googly bowler Chawla destroyed the Pakistan middle-order to finish with 4-8 - a new record for the best figures in an ICC U19 CWC final and one that would be his for only a couple of hours.

Pakistan had been bowled out for a paltry 109, and with the strong India batting line-up featuring man of the series Cheteshwar Pujara, many would have thought defending champion Pakistan would have to relinquish its title.

Right-arm medium fast bowler Anwar Ali, however, had other ideas. He took three wickets in his first over andbroke Chawla's record, returning figures of 5-35 and dismissing Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Mayank Tehlan, Debabrata Das and Jadeja. Anwar's efforts, which also earned him the man of the match award, meant the India batting card read a dismal 23-7 after eight overs. India was eventually bowled out for 71, as Pakistan became the first team to defend the ICC U19 CWC title.

2008 - Malaysia

2 March - India v South Africa

Final

At Kuala Lumpur: India 159 all out, 45.4 overs (Tanmay Srivastava 46, Manish Pandey 20; Wayne Parnell 2-21)

South Africa (target 116 from 25 overs) 103-8, 25 overs (Reeza Hendricks 35, Wayne Parnell 29; Ajitesh Argal 2-7)

Result: India won by 12 runs (D-L method)

Continuing the trend of thrilling finals, the next edition in Malaysia was a rain-curtailed one that saw South Africa fielding first after winning the toss against India. Two wickets each from new-ball bowlers Wayne Parnell and Matthew Arnold and another couple from Roy Adams helped South Africa bowl out India for 159, with only Tanmay Srivastava showing some resistance.

Heavy showers during the second innings then curtailed the match. South Africa, which had been reduced to 17-3, was given a revised equation of 99 from 98 balls. Parnell batted well to make it a fine all-round performance. However, tight bowling from the Indians, and especially from man of the match Ajitesh Argal, left South Africa needing 19 to win from the last over. Siddarth Kaul stepped up to deliver it for India, and took a couple of wickets as India won by 12 runs to lift the trophy for the second time.

2010 - New Zealand

17 January - Bangladesh v West Indies

Group D

At Palmerston North: West Indies 249-8, 50 overs (Andre Creary 55, Jermaine Blackwood 48; Shaker Ahmed 2-39)

Bangladesh 248 all out, 49.4 overs (Tasamul Haque 54, Sabbir Rahman 53; Akeem Dewar 3-63)

Result: West Indies won by one run

After winning the toss, the West Indies slumped to 20-3 having chosen to bat first. A half-century from Andre Creary and contributions of 44 and 48 from Yannick Cariah and Jermaine Blackwood respectively helped it recover and set Bangladesh a required run rate of exactly five per over to win.

Leg break bowlers Akeem Dewar and Yannick Cariah ran through the Bangladesh top and middle-order. Sabbir Rahman and Tasamul Haque revived Bangladesh's fortunes with half-centuries, but victory seemed distant for the side from Asia when it found itself at 194-7 in the 44th over, still needing 56 from 40 balls. A late cameo from Alauddin Babu, who scored 16 off just nine balls, brought them close to an unlikely win. In the last over, Jason Holder, who has since gone on to play for the West Indies in ODIs, dealt the crucial blow by removing Tasamul with two needed from four balls. Last man Shaker Ahmed was then run out attempting a bye to the wicket-keeper off the very next ball, as the see-saw battle saw the West Indies winning by just one run.

20 January - Bangladesh v Pakistan

Group D

At Palmerston North: Bangladesh 250-5, 50 overs (Mahmudul Hasan 63, Anamul Haque 55; Usman Qadir 2-44)

Pakistan 251-6, 49.5 overs (Babar Azam 91, Ahmed Shehzad 52; Mahmudul Hasan 2-36)

Result: Pakistan won by four wickets

Bangladesh and Group D, though, weren't done with thrilling finishes - there was another in store for them three days later. Bangladesh batted first after winning the toss against Pakistan, and after a much more substantial contribution from their top and middle-orders, posted 250-5.

Pakistan openers Ahmed Shehzad and Babar Azam (the man of the match) laid just the foundation their team needed, putting on 104 from 26.4 overs. However, the middle order self-destructed, and at 199-6 after 46.3 overs, Pakistan was up against it. The equation of 52 from 21 balls didn't daunt debutante Mohammad Waqas, though, after he came in at the fall of the sixth wicket. He smashed 34 off just 14 balls, taking his side to a seemingly improbable victory alongside Hammad Azam, who scored 27 off 22.

The death-defying turnaround had major consequences for the tournament. Pakistan maintained its hundred percent record and topped Group D, while Bangladesh's second heart-breaking loss put it out of the tournament, sending the West Indies through to the quarter-finals at its expense.

2012 - Australia

14 August - Afghanistan v New Zealand

Group B

At Buderim, Queensland: New Zealand 198 all out, 50 overs (Robert O'Donnell 69, Henry Walsh 52; Sayed Shirzad 4-34, Yamin Ahmadzai 4-35)

Afghanistan 190-9, 50 overs (Najibullah Zadran 69, Afsar Zazai 42; Matthew Quinn 4-26, Jacob Duffy 4-40)

Result: New Zealand won by eight runs

After winning the toss and batting first, New Zealand faltered to 20-3 before a 108-run fourth-wicket stand from 28.5 overs between Robert O'Donnell and Henry Walsh gave its innings some backbone. Left-arm medium bowler Sayed Shirzad and right-arm medium fast bowler Yamin Ahmadzai, however, completed four-wicket hauls as New Zealand was eventually bowled out for 198.

In reply, Afghanistan slipped to 26-5 in the 10th over, as right-arm seamers Jacob Duffy and Matthew Quinn used the conditions to their advantage. Najibullah Zadran and Afsar Zazai, however, had not given up the ghost. Their well-constructed innings brought the equation down to a very achievable 28 off three overs for Afghanistan. Quinn and Duffy then returned with superb second spells to tie their Associate opponents down and help New Zealand complete a nerve-jangling eight-run win.

20 August - India v Pakistan

Third quarter-final

At Townsville, Queensland: Pakistan 136 all out, 45.1 overs (Babar Azam 50, Ehsan Adil 35; Sandeep Sharma 3-24, Ravikant Singh 3-43)

India 137-9, 48 overs (Baba Aparajith 51, Vijay Zol 36; Zia-ul-Haq 3-23, Azizullah 3-30)

Result: India won by one wicket

After winning the toss and batting first despite overnight rain and cloud cover, Pakistan saw all its frontline batsmen apart from opener Babar Azam floundering. Right-arm medium bowlers Sandeep Sharma and Ravikant Singh took three wickets apiece, as Pakistan was bowled out for a mere 136. None of its batsmen apart from Babar, Umar Waheed and Ehsan Adil could reach double figures.

Chasing a modest 137 to win, India made heavy weather of its reply, slumping to 84-5 in the 27th over. Man of the match Baba Aparajith and Smit Patel, though, calmed the nerves in their dressing room as they took their side to within 17 runs of victory. Then came a manic 4.5-over period that saw India losing four wickets for just seven runs and collapsing to 127/9. The last-wicket pair of Harmeet Singh and Sandeep Sharma ground out seven overs to knock off the remaining 10 runs, adding yet another exciting chapter to the traditional India-Pakistan rivalry.

--IBNS (Posted on 31-01-2014)

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