Hammad steers Pakistan into World Cup final
LINCOLN: Allrounder Hammad Azam batted magnificently to help Pakistan beat West Indies to qualify for the final of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup here at Bert Sutcliffe on Monday.
Chasing the target of 213 runs to win, Pakistan achieved victory by four wickets with nine balls remaining in the first semi-final against the West Indies and now they will play the final on Saturday against the winners of the second semi-final to be held on Wednesday between Australia and Sri Lanka.
Hammad came at the crease when Pakistan were reeling at 49 for four in 19.1 overs and then he anchored the innings to take his team towards victory.
He was involved in two big successive partnerships, adding 90 runs with middle-order batsman Rameez Aziz for the fifth wicket and 64 with wicketkeeper Mohammad Waqas for the sixth wicket.
Hammad remained unbeaten on 92, missing his century by only eight runs. His 93-ball innings was laced with ten boundaries.
Rameez batted very cautiously to make 39 from 81 balls while left-handed Waqas batted aggressively for 29 off 23 balls.
Fast bowler Jason Holder was the most successful bowler the West Indies, taking two for 28 from ten overs.
Earlier, Pakistan captain Azeem Ghumman won the toss and put West Indies into bat who made 212 for eight in the allotted 50 overs.
Opener Kraigg Clairmonte Brathwaite top-scored with 85 from 116 balls with six fours. He along with his captain Andre Creary made great recovery after West Indies lost two quick wickets for only seven runs on the board. They added 101 runs for the third wicket stand.
Creary made 41 while Shane Dowrich scored 55 as all other batsmen failed to make any significant score against the accurate bowling by Pakistani bowlers.
Pace bowler Sarmad Bhatti and spinner Raza Hassan claimed two wickets each while spinners Usman Qadir and Babar Azam took one wicket each.