Afghanistan gave an early warning of their potential in the U19 World Cup when they pulled off an impressive 56-run victory over Bangladesh in a warm-up match today.

All-rounder Azmatullah Omarzai’s stroke-filled 81 and captain Naveen-ul-Haq’s haul of four for 38 were the highlights of the win against Bangladesh, who had finished third in the last edition of the U19 CWC at home.

In other matches, New Zealand scored a 52-run win over Zimbabwe with captain Kaylum Boshier putting in an all-round effort of 66 and three for 17, Pakistan rode on a century by Mohsin Khan to defeat Namibia by 190 runs while the Windies defeated Papua New Guinea by seven wickets in a low-scoring game.

Afghanistan v Bangladesh

Aghanistan posted a fighting 206 for eight after being put in to bat by Bangladesh with number seven batsman Azmatullah Omarzai striking five fours and five sixes during a 67-ball knock. Baheer Shah (44) and opener Ibrahim Zadran (32) were the other main contributors.

In reply, Bangladesh were cruising along at 92 for one in the 18th over after a 77-run partnership between opener Pinak Ghosh (54) and captain Mohammad Saif Hassan (43) but Naveen and Qias Ahmed stifled Bangladesh’s chase by sharing seven wickets.

Captain Naveen said after the match that the win was another boost to their confidence after having won the U19 Asia Cup last month.

“We had some good preparations in practice matches and are heartened by this win today. The ball was swinging a lot early on so we lost some wickets. The pitch was playing easier by the time Azmatullah came on to bat and then we also bowled very well,” he said.

New Zealand beat Zimbabwe by a comfortable 42 runs. New Zealand beat Zimbabwe by a comfortable 42 runs.
New Zealand v Zimbabwe

New Zealand suffered a couple of early setbacks to Kieran Robinson and were struggling at seven for two but skipper Boshier’s fighting 113-ball knock was supplemented by efforts from Todd Watson (53) and Jokob Bhula (30) as the team posted a total of 220.

In reply, Zimbabwe seemed comfortably placed at one stage with 132 for four before Boshier shone with the ball to ensure there were no early setbacks for New Zealand, who are looking for their maiden title in the U19 CWC as they prepare to host it for the third time.

Boshier was happy at the way his team performed today.

"The warmups are great preparation for the tournament. Todd really impressed today, coming in at number nine, he really put pressure on their bowlers and solidified our innings," he said.

Pakistan v Namibia

Pakistan, looking for a third title to come at par with India and Australia, warmed up with a huge victory over Namibia and had some good performances to take pride in.

Mohsin Khan struck a 114-ball 102 in what was the only century on a day the ball dominated proceedings in swing-friendly conditions. Mohammad Taha was another good performer for Pakistan, following up his quick 56 in which he hit four sixes, with a haul of three for 12 with his seam bowling.

Namibia, who are automatic qualifiers for the tournament proper by virtue of finishing as the highest Associate nation last time, were never in the game. They were all out in just over 30 overs with left-arm seam bowler Shaheen Afridi showing fine rhythm by taking three for 18.

Pakistan Captain Hassan Khan was happy at the team’s performance, saying: "the pitch was very good for batting, Mohsin Khan and Mohammad Talha both batted very well. Great conditions here today for our warmup match."

Bangladesh were bundled out for 150 against a strong Afghanistan side. Bangladesh were bundled out for 150 against a strong Afghanistan side.
Windies v Papua New Guinea

The defending champions did not have to stretch themselves as Papua New Guinea just about crossed the three-figure mark. Jeavor Royal, Alick Athanaze and Ashmead Nedd grabbed two wickets each and leaving Bhaskar Yadram to finish it in quick time with a 23-ball knock of 37.

Windies captain Emmanuel Stewart said he was happy with how his team played in the match.

“This was a good opportunity for us as a team to get out here and practise as a team, and play a game as a team before the tournament. We just want to take one step at a time; one game at a time. We don’t want to rush anything, we got past this one and now we are onto our next one (warm-up match) which is against Zimbabwe,” he said.

Scores in brief:

Afghanistan beat Bangladesh by 56 runs at Christ’s College

Afghanistan 206-8 in 48.2 overs (Azmatullah Omarzai 81, Baheer Shah 44, Ibrahim Zadran 32, Robiul Haque 3-56, Tipu Sultan 2-36, Qazi Onik 2-41)

Bangladesh 150 all out in 41.4 overs (Pinak Ghosh 54, Mohammad Saif Hassan 43, Naveen-ul-Haq 4-38, Qais Ahmed 3-26).

New Zealand beat Zimbabwe by 52 Runs at Hagley Park 4

New Zealand 220 all out in 49.4 overs (Kaylum Boshier 66, Todd Watson 53, Jakob Bhula 30, Milton Shumba 3-29, Kieron Robinson 3-32, Robert Chimhinya 2-46)

Zimbabwe 168 all out in 44.5 overs (Milton Shumba 45, Robert Chimhinya 38, Kaylum Boshier 3-17)

Pakistan beat Namibia by 190 runs at Hagley Park 2

Pakistan 297 all out in 49.5 overs (Mohsin Khan 102 retired, Mohammad Taha 56, Ali Zaryab Asif 51, Jan Izak de Villiers 4-52)

Namibia 107 all out in 30.3 overs (Mohammad Taha 3-12, Shaheen Afridi 3-18)

West Indies beat Papua New Guinea by seven wickets at Lincoln Green

Papua New Guinea 105 all out in 41.1 Overs (Jeavor Royal 2-4, Alick Athanaze 2-15, Ashmead Nedd 2-10)

West Indies 106-3 in 22.3 Overs (Bhaskar Yadram 37)