Pakistan team was crestfallen, tears flowing down the cheeks of players after losing the U19 World Cup semifinal to Australia in a last-over thriller.
Pakistan played one of the most thrilling knockouts in the history of the Under19 World Cup, but in the end, it was Australia, who held their nerves and saw themselves through to the final. After a topsy-turvy 99 overs of play, the match boiled down to the last six balls, with Australia needing to knock off three. Zeeshan Ahmed ran in hoping to deliver the knockout punch but voice captain Raf MacMillan inside-edged the ball to the boundary. Ubaid Shah, Naseem’s brother, stationed at short fine leg gave it a chase but emerged second base. Australia had won by the narrowest margin of one wicket, when it all seemed lost a few overs ago, and set up a blockbuster final against India on Sunday.
As the ball touched the boundary, Umaid just lay there motionless. Zeeshan and captain Saad Baig were on the ground shattered, while the rest of the team were unable to lift themselves up. Tears were flowing down many a cheek. Pakistan were so near and yet so far. They made a match out of it after getting all out for 179 with Ali Raza doing the bulk of the damage with 4/34. But at last, it just wasn’t going to be. Heartbreak all around.
Things could have worked in Pakistan’s favour though, had they not wasted time in between overs. As a result, they were forced to place a fielder inside the 30-yard circle. Who knows, had Ubaid been in the deep, the result could have been something else. But it is what it is. Pakistan are on their way back. Australia are into the summit clash where a repeat of the men’s ICC World Cup 2023 awaits.
“Difficult to be the losing team, but we were short by 20-30 runs. We put in 100 percent effort. They played well. Boys fought really well. The way Ali Raza bowled was brilliant. Throughout the tournament, our bowling was good in the tournament. One team has to win, one has to lose, that’s the game,” losing captain Baig said at the post-match press conference.