Posted: 19 February 2006 at 12:10pm | IP Logged
Pakistan retained the Under-19 World Cup in extraordinary fashion at the Premadasa Stadium as they successfully defended 109 with a thrilling display of pace and swing bowling. Anwar Ali, who took 5 for 35, the best figures in a final - a record held for about an hour by Piyush Chawla - along with Jamshed Ahmed devastated the Indian batting in a breathtaking display.
Throughout the tournament Pakistan have been living on the edge, following their loss against Bangladesh and being 80 for 5 against Australia. Being skittled for little over 100 appeared to be one final slip too many.
However, no one bothered to tell Anwar and Jamshed who bowled blistering spells to leave everyone stunned. When the match was wrapped up, the Pakistan team sprinted around in front of their fans and paraded the trophy - they are the first side to defend the cup, but none of it would have been possible without their formidable pace attack. Wasim and Waqar would be proud.
Jamshed, the left-arm paceman, gave Pakistan the perfect start as they attempted the seemingly impossible. With the first ball of the innings Gaurav Dhiman, India's trail blazing opener, chopped onto his stumps. Then, the madness really set in. Cheteshwar Pujara was trapped by Anwar's first ball, although he appeared to have got slightly outside off stump, before Rohit Sharma and Maynak Tehlan were castled by searing inswingers and incutters. After two overs, they were 8 for 4. It was surreal.
That wasn't the end of it either as, after what seemed like an eternity without a wicket (six balls) Ravikant Shukla was cleaned up by the ball of the match; it pitched off stump and held its line. And there was still time for another scalp before the players even left the field for the interval, when Anwar had Debabrata Das caught and bowled, although again there was some doubt as to whether the batsmen was out. Anwar found prodigious swing into the batsmen and although he struggles to bowl an outswinger, today it didn't matter.
Pakistan celebrate a remarkable victory Getty Images
Somewhat understandably, the intensity wasn't quite the same following a 45-minute break, but the attack continued to pose plenty of problems for the Indians and another wicket was only ever around the corner. Chawla was shelled at first slip by Nasir Jamshed, but the fielder made up for that miss by holding onto a gloved bouncer from Jadeja.
Chawla and Pinal Shah at least put up some resistance, so much so that the Indians were beginning to threaten the target. With the occasional streaky boundary and scampered single the total edged past 50. The batsmen were becoming more accustomed to the conditions and Pakistan's fielders began to show the strain with some fumbles.
Shah has a first-class best of 217 not out so he can certainly bat, but there was little he could do about the lifter from Akhtar Ayub, which brushed the shoulder of the bat. With that, India's bowlers were left with too much to do. Akhtar finished the match in style with two wickets in three balls.
Among the wreckage stood Chawla, who had produced a fine all round performance with his brave batting and mesmeric legspin. On any other day he would have been running around the pitch with the World Cup grasped in his hand. But this wasn't simply any other day. He tied the Pakistan batsmen in knots as the top order failed again, twice losing two wickets in an over. Only Rameez Raja showed any meaningful resistance and, Chawla's 4 for 8 was perhaps the shortest surviving record in cricket history.
As the teams headed for the change of innings, a quick finish was on the cards. That is what we got, but as with yesterday's Plate final, the result was an amazing turnaround. You can never take your eyes off Pakistan; they have a history of producing the unexpected. Today's result must surely come near the top of the list of the more incredible victories.
How they were out
Jamshed Ahmed c Ahmed b Jadeja 18 (24 for 1)
Loose cut to backward point
Mohammad Ibrahim lbw b Jadeja 0 (25 for 2)
Trapped on the crease
Ali Khan c Shah b Yomahesh 10 (39 for 3)
Thin edge, playing away from his body
Ali Asad b Chawla 2 (49 for 4)
Failed to cover his leg stump while sweeping
Riaz Kail b Chawla 0 (49 for 5)
No shot to a perfect googly
Sarfraz Ahmed st Shah b Bipinbhai 15 (78 for 6)
Drawn out by a doosra
Rameez Raja lbw b Sharma 25 (93 for 7)
Missed sweep, although hint of bottom edge
Imad Wasim st Shah b Chawla 1 (103 for 8)
Beaten by sharp turn, back foot raised
Anwar Ali c Pujara b Jadeja 17 (103 for 9)
Slapped to cover
Akhtar Ayub b Chawla 1 (109 all out)
Gaurav Dhiman b Jamshed Ahmed 0 (0 for 1)
Dragged a lifter onto his stumps
Cheteshwar Pujara lbw Anwar Ali 0 (5 for 2)
Inswinger, caught on the crease
Rohit Sharma b Anwar Ali 4 (8 for 3)
Left an inswinger
Mayank Tehlan b Anwar Ali 0 (8 for 4)
Beaten by swing and pace
Ravikant Shukla b Jamshed Ahmed 0 (8 for 5)
Played around a full, fast, straight ball
Debabrata Das c and b Anwar Ali 0 (9 for 6)
Ravindra Jadeja c Nasir b Anwar Ali 6 (23 for 7)
Gloved a bouncer to slip
Pinal Shah c Sarfraz b Akhtar 16 (62 for 8)
Fended at a lifter, thin edge
Vijaykumar Yomahesh lbw b Akhtar 3 (71 for 9)
Played back, beaten by the in-swing
Parmer Bipinbhai b Akhtar 0 (71 all out)
Bowled all ends up