New Zealand's unbeaten run at cricket's under-19 World Cup came to a predictable end today as Pakistan topped pool B with by cruising to five-wicket win on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
The signs were ominous after New Zealand recorded unconvincing victories over Scotland and Afghanistan and their first encounter with quality opposition indicated the title should be beyond them although they do advance to the quarterfinals.
Opting to bat first at John Blanck Oval in Buderim, New Zealand crawled to 152-8 from their 50 overs - a required run rate of 3.06 was never going to tax the Pakistanis and they loped to the target with more than 18 overs to spare.
Henry Walsh top scored with 33 from 61 deliveries while Robert O'Donnell (29) and Joe Carter (21) also made starts among the specialist batsmen.
Pacemen Zia-ul-Haq (2-27) and Ehsan Adil (2-21) kept runs at a premium during their 10 over allocation while each of the five bowlers employed were rewarded with wickets.
Pakistan might have been in bother at 57-3 in the 14th over but Imam-ul-Haq (40) and Saad Ali (32) steadied the chase before Mohammad Nawaz's brace of sixes and Salman Afridi's 18 from 15 balls guaranteed an early finish as the duo carried the score to 153-5 in the 32nd over.
- Fairfax Media
Should the NZ selectors pick Jesse Ryder if he's available?