North Sound (Antigua): Skipper Qasim Akram came up with one of the best individual performances in the ICC U-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022 so far to help two-time champions score a crushing 238-run win against Sri Lanka in the fifth-place playoff at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium here on Friday (IST).
The 19-year-old Qasim Akram smashed a brilliant unbeaten 80-ball 135 to help his side register an imposing 365/3, with opener Haseebullah Khan also scoring 136. Akram, who bowls off-spin, then returned to wipe out the entire Sri Lankan top order to finish with figures of 5/37 off 10 overs to notch a massive win.
Qasim Akram’s exploits made him the first player in ICC U-19 World Cup history to score a century and take five wickets in the same game. Pakistan got off to a flying start as openers Haseebullah Khan and Muhammad Shehzad put on 134 for the opening wicket in 24.1 overs.
But any Sri Lankan hope that a wicket might slow the flow of runs proved unfounded, as the dismissal of Shehzad for 73 off 69 deliveries only brought captain Qasim Akram to the crease, who proceeded to smash six sixes and 13 fours in a stunning 80-ball score of 135 not out.
The stand between Qasim Akram and Khan added a mindboggling 229 runs in 25.3 overs, with the latter falling three balls from the close for a brilliant 136 of his own — a second century of the tournament. Irfan Khan was trapped lbw for a two-ball two off the final ball of the innings to see Pakistan finish on 365/3 off their 50 overs.
Sri Lanka’s hopes of surmounting the massive target suffered a blow when Akram returned to the action with the ball in hand to dismiss opener Chamindu Wickramasinghe with the first delivery of the reply. Akram’s special day continued as he first clean-bowled Shevon Daniel, then had Pawan Pathiraja trapped lbw before rattling the stumps of Ranuda Somarathne to leave Sri Lanka reeling on 15/4 after just 4.4 overs, according to ICC.
Sri Lanka briefly rallied, but Qasim Akram secured his five-wicked haul with the wickets of Sadisha Rajapaksa, and ended with figures of 5/37 off his 10 overs. The Sri Lankan reply did get to triple figures thanks to the excellent Dunith Wellalage (40) and a late cameo from Vinuja Ranpul (53 not out). But the innings was wrapped up in just 34.2 overs when Traveen Mathew was trapped in-front off Zeeshan Zameer, with Sri Lanka still 238 runs shy of their target.
South Africa’s Dewald Brevis finished his memorable tournament on another high, smashing a 130-ball 138 to help his side chase down Bangladesh’s 294 to win by two wickets and finish in seventh place. Brevis’ ton means he has scored two centuries and three half-centuries in six innings in the Caribbean, hitting 506 runs and averaging 84.33.
Brief scores: Pakistan 365/3 in 50 overs (Muhammad Shehzad 73, Haseebullah Khan 136, Qasim Akram 135 not out) beat Sri Lanka 127 in 34.2 overs (Vinuja Ranpul 53 not out) by 238 runs.
Bangladesh 293/8 in 50 overs (Ariful Islam 102) lost to South Africa 298/8 in 48.5 overs (Dewald Brevis 138) by two wickets.