ICC U-19 World Cup: India-Pakistan clash for place in semis
Townsville (Australia), Aug 19 (IANS) A thrilling contest is on the cards Monday when India and Pakistan clash here at the Tony Ireland Stadium for a place in the semifinal of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup.
Both India (2000, 2008) and Pakistan (2004, 2006) have won the title twice.
Though India enjoys an overall 9-7 record against Pakistan in U-19 cricket, the green shirts have performed better in bigger matches, having won five of the six contests in the ICC U-19 World Cups.
Pakistan beat India in the semifinal of the 2004 event in Bangladesh, then in the 2006 final in Sri Lanka and overpowered India again in the quarterfinal in New Zealand in 2010.
In the inaugural event in 1988, Pakistan defeated India by 68 runs while India's only victory in the U-19 World Cup came in 1998 in Durban where it beat Pakistan by five wickets.
In the ongoing event, Pakistan are unbeaten in Group B while in Group C India suffered a shock defeat against the West Indies before it bounced back to win convincingly against Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam said: "We played India in the Asia Cup in Malaysia before this tournament and we won one (by one run) while the other game (the final) ended in a tie. There is always a tight contest between us and we are expecting nothing different this time.
"Our players are aware of how exciting this is for the supporters of both the teams. The last time we met the games were exciting, so we hope that continues."
India captain Unmukt Chand, who has scored 104 runs so far, said: "Pakistan will be a challenge but we have worked hard on our skills coming into the tournament and also on the mental side of our game.
"We played Pakistan twice in Malaysia in June and learnt a lot from those matches. So, we are confident we can perform very well not only in the quarterfinal but also in the rest of the matches."
The winner of the tie will go on to meet the victor of the New Zealand-West Indies match in the second semifinal here Thursday.
Earlier Sunday, England and Bangladesh lost their respective quarterfinals to South Africa and Australia.
Australia and South Africa will play each other in the first semifinal Tuesday.
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