Babar Azam leads Pakistan Under-19s to victory

July 29, 2012 | Cricket

A half-century from captain and opening batsman Babar Azam led Pakistan Under-19s to a six-wicket win over Australia Under-19s at Gold Coast.

The visitors reached the target of 188 with four overs to spare, after the Australians had stuttered in their innings despite an 83 from Kurtis Patterson.

Pakistan lead the three-match Youth ODI series 1-0 as they prepare for the Under-19 World Cup, which begins on August 11.

Azam scored 79 off 121 balls to control Pakistan’s chase, building partnerships of 80 each with Imam-ul-Haq and Umar Waheed for the second and third wicket.

Sami Aslam, Pakistah’s other opener, had departed early but Australia could not consolidate with further inroads. Pakistan accelerated towards the second half of the innings – the third-wicket stand took only 13.4 overs – and safely reached the target.

“[Pakistan's] captain, who opened the batting today, was very solid all day and kept the batting ticking over,” William Bosisto, the Australian captain, said.

Unlike Pakistan, Australia’s innings lacked steadiness. Although Patterson tried to hold his side together, wickets continued to fall at the other end. A 67-run stand for the fourth wicket between Patterson and Bosisto was the only partnership of any substance. Left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz took 3 for 36.

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