U19 CWC: Australia beat England by 6 wickets
The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2012 got underway in Queensland on Saturday with host Australia belying its patchy lead-up form to open with an impressive six-wicket victory over England while Bangladesh caused the first upset of the event by defeating Sri Lanka by 25 runs.
In the other matches on the opening day, Pakistan defeated Afghanistan by 109 runs on the Sunshine Coast while Zimbabwe had the better of Papua New Guinea (PNG) by 145 runs in Townsville.
Group A - Australia beats England
The Australia U19 side had a dream start to its defence of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup with a six-wicket win against arch rival England in Townsville on Saturday.
Australia captain Will Bosisto won the toss and elected to bowl on a bouncy wicket at Tony Ireland Stadium.
A fantastic all-round bowling effort from Australia saw it restrict England to 143. Australia struck early with West Australia's Joel Paris taking out English danger-man Daniel Bell-Drummond for a duck. Queensland paceman Mark Steketee claimed the valuable wicket of Ben Foakes.
Western Australia's Ashton Turner claimed the wickets of Ben Duckett (15) and Sam Wood (0) with consecutive deliveries, unfortunately missing his hat-trick with the first ball of his next over.
New South Wales' quick Gurinder Sandhu was well suited to the bouncy pitch and had a great day with the ball finishing with figures of 9.3-1-27-3.
Australia's run chase got off to a shaky start with the openers James Peirson and Cameron Bancroft falling in the first two overs to a sharp opening spell by the English opening attack.
Bosisto and hard-hitting left-handed batsman Travis Head combined well for a match winning fourth wicket stand, enabling Australia to cruise to victory with 15 overs to spare. Head, who was awarded man of the match, hit a solid 57 of 58 balls with six boundaries and a six to combine with Bosisto for a partnership of 93.
Bosisto said it was great to start off with a win against a strong side like England.
"I think our bowlers bowled really well early on, they had good line and lengths and we got a few nicks and LBWs and from there it was really about keeping it tight.
"We have played England before and we expected them to put a few more runs on but I knew the wicket was tough for batting out there early on," he said.
Group B - Pakistan beats Afghanistan
Determined qualifier Afghanistan had high hopes coming into its opening round clash against Pakistan, but it was soon dashed by the in-form Pakistan line-up.
Pakistan batted strongly to score 253 for six, with captain Babar Azam scoring a patient 75 (103b, 7x4) at the top of the order, and Mohammad Nawaz (66; 50b, 7x4, 1x6) and Umar Waheed (43 not out) putting on a potent stand of 103 for the sixth wicket.
Afghanistan, which had earmarked the clash with Pakistan as a key fixture, again got some handy runs from Hashmatullah Shaidi (50; 77b, 3x4) at the top of the order, but it was not enough to mount a challenge to the Pakistan total.
Afghanistan was finally dismissed for 144, with left-arm quick Zia-ul-Haq snapping up four for 30 from 8.1 overs.
Group C - Zimbabwe defeats PNG
Zimbabwe made a confident start to its campaign claiming a first up win over qualifier Papua New Guinea.
Right-handed opener Kevin Kasuza top-scored for the side making 97 (121b, 9x4), combining with Luke Masasire (47) for a century stand for the opening wicket, before he was dismissed LBW by all-rounder Chad Soper.
Zimbabwe's middle and lower order fell away in the final 10 overs of its innings but the contributions of Kasuza and Masasire was enough to help Zimbabwe post a respectable 249 for Papua New Guinea to chase.
Leg-spinner Chris Kent took five for 45 for Papua New Guinea while Sydney first grade paceman Soper proved to be the most inexpensive bowler in the line-up, finishing with figures of two for 27 from his 10 overs.
Papua New Guinea's top order never really got going and Zimbabwe's bowling line-up made light work of the batting order, bowling them out in the 38th over, 104 runs short of the total.
Zimbabwe's right-arm medium pacer Kyle Bowie was extremely economical with the ball averaging 1.85 an over for his seven overs as well as picking up a wicket.
Group D - Anamul Haque's century sinks Sri Lanka
Bangladesh made a rousing start with a 25-run win over Sri Lanka at Allan Border Field in its opening match in Brisbane.
Led by a superb century from captain Anamul Haque (101; 127b, 9x4, 1x6), the Tigers showed that it is ready to make a statement in Group D where it is drawn alongside South Africa and Namibia.
Anamul came to the wicket at 1-0 but quickly took control of the innings. He forged a match-winning stand of 141 with fellow right-hander Asif Ahmed, who scored a composed 84 (114b, 6x4).
The pair batted into the final 10 overs, with Haque's century being greeted with excited celebrations from a vocal group of Bangladesh fans.
The captain admitted that he felt confident of batting well coming into the game.
"The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup is a very big opportunity for all of us and I was confident today that when my opportunity came, I would be ready,'' said Anamul.
"I wanted to make 50 and then make 100. We got a partnership going which helped a lot and Asif batted fantastically - I think it was probably the best innings of his career,'' he added.
Anamul said the pitch at Allan Border Field had been excellent for batting. "It was a bit difficult early on but after the first hour, it became a very, very good wicket."
Sri Lanka's run chase suffered from the loss of wickets at regular intervals, with Haque praising the work of the new ball pairing of Dewan Sabbir and Taksin Ahmed.
But it was the seventh bowler that Haque called upon, Soumya Sarkar who had also opened the batting only to be dismissed second ball, who wrapped up the win.
Sarkar, a right-arm pace bowler, picked up three for 10 in 1.4 overs to wrap up the result, including the key wicket on Sri Lanka's top scorer Angelo Jayasinghe (83; 121b, 6x4, 1x6).
Asif Ahmed also played his part, with a superb stop to save a boundary in the 36th over producing an even better outcome with his boundary return running out Lahiru Madushanka (48), who had been in a decisive partnership with Jayasinghe.
Scores in Brief:
Group A - Australia beat England by six wickets, Tony Ireland Stadium, Townsville
England 143 all out, 38.3 overs (Craig Overton 35, Adam Ball 20; Gurinder Sandhu 3-27, Ashton Turner 3-30)
Australia 147 for four, 35.1 overs (Travis Head 57 n.o., Will Bosisto 35 n.o.; Reece Topley 2-33, Jamie Overton 2-34)
Player of the match - Travis Head (Australia)
Group B - Pakistan beat Afghanistan by 109 runs, John Blanch Oval, Buderim
Pakistan 253 for six, 50 overs (Babar Azam 75, Mohammad Nawaz 66, Umar Waheed 43 n.o.; Sayed Shirzad 2-43, Yamin Ahmadzai 2-54)
Afghanistan 144 all out, 45.1 overs (Hashmutallah Shaidi 50, Mohibullah Paak 30; Zia-ul-Haq 4-30, Zafar Gohar 2-25)
Player of the match - Babar Azam (Pakistan)
Group C - Zimbabwe beat Papua New Guinea 145, Endeavour Park No 1, Townsville
Zimbabwe 249 all out, 50 overs (Kevin Kasuza 97; Chris Kent 5-45, Ray Haoda 3-43)
Papaua New Guinea 145 all out, 38.1 overs (Sese Bau 34; Matthew Bentley 2-20, Luke Jongwe 2-36, Peacemore Zimwa 2-40)
Player of the match - Kevin Kasuza (Zimbabwe)
Group D - Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka by 25 runs, Allan Border Field, Brisbane
Bangladesh 249 for seven, 50 overs (Anamul Haque 101, Asif Ahmed 84; Sanitha de Mel 3-46)
Sri Lanka 224 all out, 48.4 overs (Angelo Jayasinghe 83, Lahiru Madushanka 48; Soumya Sarkar 3-10, Taskin Ahmed 2-44)
Player of the match - Anamul Haque (Bangladesh)
Group A - England v Ireland, Endeavour Park No.1, Townsville
Group B - New Zealand v Scoitland, John Blanch Oval, Buderim
* Group C - India v West Indies, Tony Ireland Stadium, Townsville
Group D - Bangladesh v South Africa, Allan Border Field, Brisbane
* Group A - Australia v Nepal, Tony Ireland Stadium, Townsville
Group B - Pakistan v Scotland, Kev Hackney Oval, Buderim
Group C - PNG v West Indies, Endeavour Park No 1, Townsville
Group D - Namibia v Sri Lanka, Allan Border Field, Brisbane
* Indicates broadcast matches