In the final review of previous Under 19 World Cups we look at the competition which took place in Bangladesh in 2004. The format which was now well established was continued as in previous tournaments.
Europe were represented by Ireland and Scotland with the Irish in Group D along with Pakistan, West Indies and Papua New Guinea with the Scots in Group C with India, New Zealand and hosts Bangladesh. The tournament was played in front of record crowds with 30000 turning up at the opening ceremony in Dhaka and the players were treated as heroes wherever they went.
Ireland opened their campaign against the West Indies and they nearly pulled off an upset. The West Indies batting first had set off in cavalier fashion scoring 100 runs in fifteen overs before Greg Thompson with 5 for 49 and Andrew Riddles 3 for 42 checked the onslaught and at the close of their innings the West Indies were 265 for 8. The Irish led by William Porterfield made a spirited attempt to chase down the total with Gary Wilson scoring 64 before being run out and Kevin O'Brien hitting 95 off 8
95 balls to set up an exciting finish, however a lower order collapse saw the Irish finish a tantalising six runs short. The following day Ireland were again in action when they met Pakistan who had easily defeated PNG by 8 wickets the day before and they repeated the performance against the Irish dismissing them for 142 and getting the required runs in the twenty sixth over for the loss of two wickets.
In their final group match Ireland were to strong for PNG, batting first they made 212 with all the batsmen contributing to the total. In reply PNG could only muster 142 with Andrew Riddles and Allen Coulter taking two wickets apiece and Gary Kidd finishing with 3 for 36.
At the end of the group stage Pakistan topping the group and West Indies progressed to the Super League with the other two teams left to contest the Plate.
In Group C Scotland opened against India and were completed blown away as India posted a massive 425 for 3 with Ambati Rayudu unbeaten on 155. In their reply Scotland could only make 155 with captain Kyle Coetzer hitting 155. They feared even worse in their next match against the hosts being bowled out for 95 and going down by 9 wickets. In their final match against New Zealand they were heavily beaten once again, losing by 240 runs. Chasing New Zealand's total of 389 for 2 in which the two Brad's Watling Wilson made 154 and 144 not out respectively they could only make 149 with Kasim Farid top scorer with 60. India unbeaten throughout topped the group and New Zealand with the defeat of the hosts by 2 wickets claimed second place.
In Group A the surprise was the failure of holders Australia to qualify for the second stage. They were beaten by Zimbabwe by 7 wickets being bowled out for a paltry 73. This meant that these two teams and Sri Lanka finished on four points each with Australia the one failing to qualify for the Super league on run rate.
In Group B it was a similar situation where Nepal, who followed up their good showing in Sri Lanka, defeated South Africa by one wicket which tied with them and England at the top of the group with four points each but they unfortunately the Nepalese lost out on run rate.
In the Super League sections England won three out of three to top the Group 2 and they qualified for the semi finals along with Pakistan and in Group 1 India topped the group on run rate to qualify with the West Indies.
It was therefore India against Pakistan and England against the West Indies in the semi finals. Pakistan with a good fielding and bowling display restricted India to 169 all out and cruised to victory with the loss of 5 wickets and over 5 overs left. In the other match England's good run of form came to an end when chasing the West Indies total of 249 they fell 94 runs short.
In the final held at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka in front of a 30000 crowd Pakistan won a tense close encounter. Winning the toss and batting Pakistan posted a score of 230 with Man of the Match Asif Iqbal top scoring with 54. In reply the West Indies fell 25 runs short. A number of their batsmen got in but could not go on and post the total required to see their side to victory and they were not helped in their cause with four run outs.
In the Plate Championship Scotland and Ireland were in different groups. Ireland opened against Uganda and won easily by 123 runs with Eoin Morgan top scoring with 117 and Kevin O'Brien chipping in with 70 in their total of 329. They followed up with another convincing victory against Canada this time running out by 155 runs in another good all round performance. In their final match they came up against the host nation who restricted the Irish to 141 all out and in front of a partisan crowd they ran out comfortable winners by 8 wickets. Ireland however had the consolation of qualifying for the semi final stage.
In the other Group Scotland came across Australia who were smarting from failure to qualify for the Super League. Scotland batting first were obliterated being bowled out for 22 the lowest score in the competition. Extras with 10 were the top score and Putland 4 for 9 and Huckett 4 for 7 the main destroyers. It only took Australia 3.5 overs to knock off the runs.
The Scots got their campaign back on track with the next match when they chased down a Nepalese total of 200 to win by 3 wickets with Moneeb Iqbal leading the charge with 67 runs. And they followed up with victory by 7 wickets against PNG to qualify for the semi finals with unbeaten Australia.
Having both finished second in their groups the Scots and Irish were kept apart with the Irish facing Australia and Scotland once again having to do battle with the host nation.
Australia batting first posted an imposing total of 340 for 5 with Man of the Match Matthew Harrison the top scorer with 91. Irish did not give up the fight going down bravely by 49 runs with Eoin Morgan 64, Gary Wilson 48 and William Porterfield 44 the mainstay of the batting.
In the other semi final Scotland made a better fist of it second time round against Bangladesh but they still went down by 91 runs. Chasing the Bangladeshi total of 197 Scotland lost early wickets and only Kyle Coetzer's 41 allowed them to reach 106.
In the final an ecstatic home crowd cheered Bangladesh to victory but it was a close run thing. Bangladesh won the toss and batted scoring 257 for 9 in their 50 overs with the top three batsmen contributing 182 of the runs. In reply Australia showed their battling characteristics recovering from 108 for 5 to down by 8 runs to set off wild celebrations. Enamul Haque was the hero and Man of the Match returning figures of 5 for 31.