South Africa have won the ICC Under 19 World Cup for the first time defeating Pakistan by six wickets in a low-scoring final at Dubai International Stadium on Saturday.
Chasing a modest target of 132, South Africa made 134 for four in 42.1 overs.
It was third time lucky for the two-time finalists South Africa against a side who were aiming to win it for the third time.
Bradley Dial hit the winning runs clubbing Shakeel straight down the ground having clobbered Ghulam in the previous over for a boundary as South Africa won with nearly eight overs to spare.
South Africa, the only unbeaten team in the tournament, produced a clinical performance to romp to victory after Pakistan electing to bat first were skittled for 131 in the 45th over.
Proteas skipper Aiden Markram led from the front with a solid unbeaten 66 to ensure there were no hiccups during their run-chase after they were two down for 28 in the 12th over.
Markram, their leading run-getter in the tournament, was ably supported by Greg Oldfield (40) who shared in a 71-run stand for the third wicket in 123 balls.
Pakistan had a faint glimmer of a miraculous fightback when South Africa stuttered to 100-4 after losing a couple of quick wickets.
But Markram stood like a colossus stroking six boundaries and facing 125 runs during his unbeaten knock.
Markram was adjudged 'Player of the Tournament' for his aggregate of 370 in the tournament which included two centuries and two fifties.
Corbin Bosch was adjudged man of the final for his excellent return of 7.3-2-15-4.
A delighted Markram later said: “It feels amazing. This is the first win for South Africa at a global ICC event, so I can’t even describe how I feel right now. The boys are over the moon.”
Talking about his match-winning innings, Markram felt he was not at his best. “It was one of those innings where it didn’t feel great, but I am really glad that I could stick it out.”
Markram felt the tournament was a great learning curve for his side. “The team has performed really well in the tournament, and it has been a great experience for all of us. We’ve learned so many things from this tournament, and there is so much that we can take from here to help us further our careers.
“The tournament has been fantastic, we are so grateful to the ICC, the organisers and every person involved in this tournament for such a great experience.
“It has been absolutely amazing having all the mums and dads here, supporting us, and I am just so glad that we could win it for them,” concluded Markram.
Pakistan captain Sami Aslam, who also played in 2012 in Townsville when his side finished eighth, said: “Obviously, we’re disappointed because we’re a much better side than the result shows. But all credit to South Africa who outplayed us. They’re a deserving champion.”
Sami defended his decision to bat first but admitted some of the batsmen did commit mistakes.
He said: “I don’t think it was a bad decision to bat first because we saw off the difficult period. Unfortunately, we lacked application and good shot selection at the top of the order. Again, we must appreciate South Africa’s bowlers who bowled very well and stuck to the plan.
“It has been a great event for everyone and I’m sure this will help the cricketers in the future. Playing in a World Cup final when you’re a teenager is a huge motivation and incentive, and I’ve no doubts that a lot of cricketers will look back at this tournament with a lot of pride and satisfaction.”
Pakistan’s decision to bat first after winning the toss backfired when it lost half its side before the 20th over. It soon slipped to 72 for seven in 29.1 overs before Zafar Gohar (22) and Amad Butt (37 not out) managed to take their side to 131.
This was the third lowest score in a 50-over final in the history of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup. Pakistan had scored 109 in Colombo in 2006 but bounced back to dismiss India for 71. In 2008, South Africa scored 108 for eight after its target had been revised to 116 from 25 overs against India.
Pakistan was rocked by some inspired and quality bowling by South Africa’s pace quartet of Kagiso Rabada, Ngazibini Sigwili, Justin Dill and Corbin Bosch, who consistently bowled in the corridor of uncertainty and forced the Pakistan batsmen into playing false strokes.
Sami Aslam (16), Imam-ul-Haq (12), Hasan Raza (15) and Kamran Ghulam (0) were all caught at the wicket by Fortuin, who later also accounted for Saifullah Khan (1) and Karamat Ali (1) to finish with six catches in the match.
It is the first time since Australia’s Darren Barry in the inaugural event in 1988 that a wicketkeeper had taken six catches behind the wickets, though Sri Lanka’s Charith Sylvester sits on the top of the tree when he dismissed eight batsmen behind the wickets (eight dismissals: four catches and four stumpings) in the 2002 tournament.
After Rabada provided the vital breakthrough when he dismissed Imam, Dill picked up the prized wickets of Sami and Hasan before Bosch ripped the heart out of Pakistan middle-order with some aggressive and accurate fast bowling.
Bosch, the 19-year-old from Durban, bowled to a teasing line and length to return match figures of 7.3-2-15-4. Bosch finished the tournament with nine wickets, while Rabada ended up with 14 wickets and Dill with 12 scalps.
Talking about his performance, Bosch said: “It was great to get out there and give my best performance in the final. I am so happy and to have played well for the boys and in the final is just great.”
The right-arm fast bowler said his father, the late former South Africa Test bowler Tertius Bosch, was his biggest motivation. “I did it for my dad. This week and all through the tournament, I have been doing it for my dad. It's his birthday this weekend,” he said.
“This is the first time that South Africa has won a global event, and to be part of that is amazing. It hasn’t sunk in yet, but I hope it does soon, and then we’ll go out with all of the boys and celebrate,” added Bosch.
The next ICC U19 Cricket World Cup will be staged in Bangladesh in 2016 and details will be announced in due course.
SOUTH AFRICA INNINGS
South Africa are on the brink of a historic triumph in the ICC Under 19 World Cup and need just 17 for victory. SA 115-4 in 38 overs.
South Africa are 111-4 in 37 overs and require just 21 runs for victory as drinks come on to the field.
Markram drives Zia through the covers for a boundar to reach his half century in style. SA 109-4 in 36 overs.
South Africa need 32 from 96 balls with the Batting Powerplay to come. SA 100-4 in 34 overs.
Will there be a twist in the tale for Proteas as Zia knocks the bails of Valli who squares shoulders. SA 100-4 in 33.1 overs.
Yaseen Valli b Zia-ul-Haq 1 (4m 2b 0x4 0x6)
The breakthrough may have come late for Pakistan as the third wicket stand of 71 in 123 balls between Markram and Oldfield may have sealed victory for South Africa. SA 100-3 in 33 overs.
Karamat strikes as Oldfield slashes only to be be caught behind. SA 99-3 in 32.1 overs.
Greg Oldfield c Saifullah Khan b Karamat Ali 40 (68b 2x4 0x6)
Markram slashes Butt to the third man fence to move to 47. SA 99-2 in 32 overs.
Oldfield smashes Butt for a boundary as South Africa in cruise control. SA 93-2 in 30 overs.
Butt returns to the attack but Markram whips him to the midwicket fence. SA 83-2 in 28 overs.
The 50 partnership between Markram and Oldfield comes up in 90 balls. SA 79-2 in 27 overs.
Nothing seems to go right for Pakistan as Markram gets a boundary courtesy a misfield. SA 76-2 in 26 overs.
Proteas are curising at the halfway stage with skipper Markram (29) and Oldfield (30) having added 43 runs in 80 balls for the third wicket.
Gohar also returns to the attack replacing Ghulam (3-0-9-0) as Pakistan are desperate for a wicket. SA 71-2 in 25 overs.
Zia (5-1-13-0) returns to the attack replacing Karamat who had figures of 6-0-19-1. SA 67-2 in 24 overs.
South Africa need 66 from 166 balls. SA 66-2 in 23 overs.
Pakistan are cramping the batsmen for runs but need wickets if they are to deny Proteas. Pak 58-2 in 21 overs.
The lights have come on at the Dubai International Stadium but it requires a miracle from Pakistan to choke Proteas in the 'Ring of Fire'. SA 57-2 in 20 overs.
Gohar who bowled a miserly spell of 6-2-12-0 is being replaced by another left arm spinner Ghulam.
Oldfield cuts left arm spinner Gohar past backward point for another boundary. SA 46-2 in 17 overs.
Markram drives Karamat past mid-on with superb timing for a boundary. SA 41-2 in 16 overs.
Pakistan are fighting tooth and nail defending a small total of 131. SA 36-2 in 15 overs.
Leg spinner Karamat strikes with his fourth delivery trapping Smith leg before. SA 28-2 in 11.4 overs.
Jason Smith lbw b Karamat Ali 9 (26b 2x4 0x6)
Smith opens his account by flicking Butt through midwicket for a boundary and glances another past the keeper to the fine leg fence. SA 21-1 in 6 overs.
Butt strikes as Fortuin miscues a pull to Raza at cover as he attempts to hit him over the infied. SA 11-1 in 3.4 overs.
Clyde Fortuin c Hasan Raza b Amad Butt 1 (14m 8b 0x4 0x6)
Markram hits the first boundary of the innings caressing Zia through the covers. SA 10-0 in 3 overs.
Zia ul Haq opens with a maiden to Markram as South Africa begin their chase of 132.
Pakistan have been skittled out for 131 in 44.3 overs by South Africa in the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup final at the Dubai International Stadium on Saturday.
Electing to bat first, Pakistan struggled against the pace of Rabada who had figures of 10-1-26-1.
Openers Sami Aslam (16) and Imam ul Haq (12) failed to reproduce the form they had shown during the tournament with both returning to the pavilion by the 12th over.
Wickets tumbled at regular intervals thereafter and they were reeling at 72-7 after 29.1 overs.
Only a defiant 45-run stand in 72 balls for the eighth wicket between Zafar Gohar (22) and Amad Butt (37 not out) helped them past the 100-run mark.
Gohar faced 44 balls and hit a couple of boundaries while Butt hit four boundaries during his unbeaten knock facing 54 balls.
Corbin Bosch and Justin Dill bowled in tandem to rip through Pakistan's middle order.
Bosch had an excellent return of 7.3-2-15-4 while Dill (2-29) and Valli (2-19) also caused the damage.
Last man Zia ul Haq is castled for a duck by Bosch who finishes with four for 15 as Pakistan are all out for 131 in 44.3 overs.
Karamat Ali does not last long flashing outside the off to become Fortuin's sixth victim. Pak 127-9 in 42.4 overs.
Karamat Ali c Fortuin b Valli 1 (2b 0x4 0x6)
Karamat pulls a short delivery over backward square leg for his first boundary. Pak 124-8 in 42 overs.
The fighting eighth wicket partnership between Gohar and Butt yielded 45 runs off 72 balls.
Sigwili strikes with the first ball of a new spell as Gohar attempts to heave him out of the ground but only succeeds in miscuing it to Bosch. Pak 117-8 in 41.1 overs.
Zafar Gohar c Bosch b Sigwili 22 (72m 44b 2x4 0x6)
Pakistan manage to hit a few boundaries in the Batting Powerplay getting 24 without losing a wicket. Pak 11407 in 40 overs.
Pakistan's heroes in the semifinal against England, Gohar and Butt are leading the fightback cracking a boundary apiece of Dill.
Butt drives Dill over the cover fielders for his second boundary. Pak 103-1 in 38 overs.
Gohar hooks a bouncer from Rabada for a welcome boundary for Pakistan. Pak 98-7 in 37 overs.
Butt gets a life on 10 (Pak 90-7 in 35.2 overs) as Bruwer drops a regulation catch off Dil. Pak 93-7 in 36 overs.
Valli strikes with Hamza offering a return catch and being adjudged out by the TV umpire. Pak 72-7 in 6.3 overs.
Ameer Hamza c and b Valli 12 (51m 39b 1x4 0x6)
Hamza smashes left arm spinner Valli for much needed boundary for Pakistan. Pak 70-6 in 28 overs.
Valli replaces Dill who has figures of 7-2-12-2 while Rabada is back after Bosch's spell of 6-1-12-3. Pak 64-6 in 27 overs.
Pakistan are in all sorts of trouble at the halfway stage with Bosch bowling another maiden to Hamza. Pak 61-6 in 25 overs.
Pakistan are falling like nine pins as Saifullah edges Bosch to become Fortuin's fifth victim. Pak 60-6 in 22.4 overs.
Saifullah Khan c Fortuin b Bosch 1 (12m 13b 0x4 0x6)
Hamza survives a confident appeal for a catch behind off Bosch. Pak 58-5 in 21 overs.
Pakistan's innings is in tatters with half their batsmen back in the pavilion as Raza flashes at Dill to become Fortuin's fourth victim. Pak 56-5 in 19.2 overs.
Hasan Raza c Fortuin b Dill 15 (35b 2x4 0x6)
Raza cracks a boundary off Dill to bring up the 50 of the Pakistan innings in the 18th over.
Double strike by Bosch as Ghulam perishes for a duck caught behind. Pak 46-4 in 16.4 overs.
Kamran Ghulam c Fortuin b Bosch 0 (2m 2b 0x4 0x6)
Bosch strikes as Pakistan lose their third wicket. Pak 46-3 in 16.2 overs.
Saud Shakeel c Bruwer b Bosch 4 (18m 10b 1x4 0x6)
Dill bowls another maiden to Raza. Pak 46-2 in 16 overs.
Shakeel slams Bosch with a judicious cover drive for his first boundary. Pak 46-2 in 15 overs.
Dill bowls a maiden to new batsmen Shakeel in his second over putting Pakistan on the back foot. Pak 41-2 in 14 overs.
Double bowling change as Bosch replaces Rabada who returned figures of 6-1-16-1 after his opening spell.
Dill strikes with fifth delivery removing Pakistan captain Aslam who fishes outside off to be caught behind. Pak 39-2 in 11.5 overs.
Sami Aslam c Fortuin b Dill 16 (49m 36b 2x4 0x6)
South Africa make their first bowling change with Dill replacing Sigwili who has figures of 5-1-20-0 after his opening spell.
Aslam gets cracking with consecutive boundaries off Sigwili pulling over mid-on and midwicket as Pakistan end the mandatory Powerplay overs on 32-1.
Rabada draws first blood as Imam nicks a rearing delivery to be caught behind. Pak 23-1 in 8.1 overs.
Imam-ul-Haq c Fortuin b Rabada 12 (25b 2x4 0x6)
Imam breaks the shackles with a classic cover drive off Sigwili and then punching him down the ground for his second boundary. Pak 17-0 in 6 overs.
Rabada bowls another fiery over though erring in line and conceding a couple of wides. Pak 11-0 in 5 overs.
Rabada bowls a maiden this time to Imam. Pak 6-0 in 3 overs.
Sigwili begins by bowling a maiden to Aslam who has featured in three century partnerships in this tournament with Imam. Pak 6-0 in 2 overs.
hits the first boundary of the final flicking Rabada to fine leg. Pak 6-0 in 1 over.
Pakistan have won the toss and opted to bat first in the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup final at Dubai International Stadium on Saturday.
Pakistan are unchanged from the side which beat England in the semifinal.
Proteas make one change, with Sigwili in for Christoffels.
Pakistan: Sami Aslam (captain), Imam ul Haq, Hassan Raza Khan, Saud Shakeel, Kamran Ghulam, Ameer Hamza, Saifullah Khan, Zafar Gohar, Ammad Butt, Karamat Ali, Zia ul Haq
South Africa: Aiden Markram (captain), Clyde Fortuin, Jason Smith, Gregory Oldfield, Yaseen Valli, Bradley Dial, Dirk-Hendrick Bruwer, Corbin Bosch, Kagiso Rabada, Justin Dill, Ngazibini Sigwilli
South Africa will aim to break the title drought when it will lock horns with two-time former champion Pakistan in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup UAE 2014 final at Dubai International Stadium on Saturday.
South Africa finished runner-up in the 2002 and 2008 tournaments while Pakistan remains the only side to win back-to-back titles when it triumphed in 2004 and 2006 in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka respectively. In addition this, Pakistan also reached the finals in 1988 and 2010.
On head to head, the two sides have met only once in the history of this competition when South Africa defeated Pakistan by 98 runs according to the Duckworth-Lewis Method in Kuala Lumpur in the 2008 tournament.
Their match in the 2000 tournament in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka, was washed out without a ball being bowled.
In the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2014, South Africa is the only side which is unbeaten so far.
It defeated the West Indies by 94 runs, Canada by 45 runs, Zimbabwe by seven wickets, Afghanistan by nine wickets in the quarter-final and Australia by 80 runs in the semi-final.
In contrast, Pakistan started its campaign with a 40-run defeat against India and then achieved victory from the jaws of defeat against England in the semi-final by three wickets.
In between, it beat Scotland by 146 runs, Papua New Guinea by 145 runs and Sri Lanka in the quarter-final by 121 runs.
Pakistan’s run in the tournament has been dominated by captain Sami Aslam and Imam-ul-Haq, the two openers who have featured in three century partnerships to date.
The left-handers, who also played in the 2012 tournament in Townsville where Pakistan finished eighth, have hit one century and five half-centuries between them.
Imam, who has recovered from a hamstring injury and will play on Saturday, is the tournament’s second leading run-getter with 370 runs, while Sami sits in 11th position with 242 runs.
Hasan Raza with 135 runs and Saud Shakeel 123 runs are the other notable Pakistan batsmen.
In the bowling, only Karamat Ali has been a consistent performer with 11 wickets so far. He is followed by Zafar Gohar and Zia-ul-Haq, who have picked up eight wickets apiece. Zafar and Zia are also playing in their second World Cup.
Sami, speaking at his pre-final media conference at the ICC Headquarters, insisted his side was peaking at the right time.
“Imam and I may have done bulk of the scoring at the top of the order, but the middle and lower middle-order fired in the crucial match against England and got us home. I think everything is coming together and we’re peaking at the right time,” Sami said.
“Saturday will be the day in which we’ll feature in the most important match of our lives. Yes, there will be pressure but I think we have the players who can sustain it and perform to their potential. We will enjoy this match and try to give our best shot.
“We have utmost respect for South Africa. It is the only unbeaten side in the tournament and any team that reaches the final deserves appreciation and respect. I know they’ll try to win the tournament they’ve never won before, but we would also like to win it for the third time so that we can match the achievement of Australia and India.”
Talking about the Kagiso Rabada bowling effort against Australia, Sami said: “Obviously, he bowled very well against Australia. He was quick, fast and accurate, but on Saturday he’ll have to start all over again. We’re ready for the Rabada challenge and I think it will be a good contest.
“The team is encouraged by the support it has received from home as well as in the UAE. I’m confident that we’ll live up to the expectations of our supporters and fans,” Sami concluded.
South Africa captain Aiden Markram is the man who has struck form at right time. The 19-year-old from Centurion hit back-to-back centuries against Zimbabwe and Afghanistan and now has 304 runs against his name.
Yaseen Valli is the other batsman who has shown consistency with the bat. He has hit a century and two half-centuries in four innings.
Fast bowler Kabada was almost unplayable in the semi-final against Australia where he picked up six for 25.
Justin Dill has provided excellent support to the South Africa bowling attack and has claimed 10 wickets so far, while Valli has displayed his all-round skills by also claiming nine wickets.
Markram, talking to the media at the ICC Headquarters, said he was looking forward to Saturday’s final.
“Its massive for us to be playing in this final,” he said, adding: “We acknowledge that history has not quite gone our way, but I still feel that we can’t really focus too much on winning. Our focus is on the process and getting there. Execution of our game plan tomorrow and our skills will be vital and hopefully the result can take care of itself.
“We don’t have any superstars or first-class players in our side. But that works to our advantage because each day it is an opportunity for a player to do well and win us the game. It works better for us because it also means that we don’t have to rely on just one or two players. All players do their bit.”
Markram admitted his fast bowlers will be targeting the in-form Pakistan openers. “Hats off to the opening batsmen from Pakistan, they have played really well. We have some good bowlers who bowled very well in the semi-final. We’re going to look for their weaknesses and we know where our strengths are,” he concluded.
Teams (to be selected from):
Pakistan – Sami Aslam (captain), Ameer Hamza, Hasan Raza, Hussain Talat, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Rafiq, Irfanullah Shah, Kamran Ghulam, Karamat Ali, Mohammad Aftab, Saifullah Khan, Salman Saeed, Saud Shakeel, Zafar Gohar and Zia-ul-Haq
South Africa - Aiden Markram (captain), Bradley Bopp, Corbin Bosch, Dirk Bruwer, Kirwin Christoffels, Justin Dill, Clyde Fortuin, Dayyaan Galiem, Sibonelo Makhanya, Greg Oldfield, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Ngazibini Sigwili, Jason Smith, Yaseen Valli
Umpires – S.Ravi and Ranmore Martinesz
Third umpire - Chris Gaffaney
Fourth umpire - Enamul Hoque-Moni
Match referee – Graeme La Brooy