DateLine: 25th February 2008
Defending champions Pakistan stayed on course for a hat-trick of under-19 World Cup titles with a six-wicket win over Australia on Monday to enter the semi-finals.
Pakistan, who won the last two tournaments in 2004 and 2006, steamrolled Australia for 129 after electing to field and then surpassed the modest target in the 28th over at the Kinrara Oval.
New Zealand joined Pakistan, second-seeded India and South Africa in the semi-finals with a 80-run victory over Sri Lanka in the last quarter-final at the Royal Selangor Club here.
The young Kiwis scored 213 after being given first strike and then bowled out Sri Lanka for 133 in 42.1 overs.
India, runners-up to Pakistan in the 2006 event in Sri Lanka, clash with New Zealand in Wednesday's day-night semi-final at the Kinrara Oval.
Pakistan take on South Africa under lights in the other semi-final at the same venue on Friday.
Pakistan dominated a disappointing quarter-final from start to finish after captain Imad Wasim won the toss and sent the Australians in to bat.
Seamer Adil Raza grabbed the wickets of Phillip Hughes and Marcus Stoinis in the first over of the innings and the young Aussies were unable to recover from the disastrous start.
Steven Smith made 22 and James Pattinson chipped in with 34 but no other batsman was able to defy the accurate Pakistani attack.
Raza, a 16-year-old who hails from Gujranwala, finished with 3-26 while Wasim, Azhar Attari and Umar Akmal picked up two wickets each.
Pakistan stuttered in their reply when Josh Hazelwood removed Umar Amin and Umair Mir in the seventh over to reduce the champions to 32-3.
But Ahmad Shahzad and left-hander Ali Asad put on 95 for the fourth wicket to crush Australia's hopes.
Shahzad fell for 40 when three runs were needed for victory, while left-hander Asad was named man of the match for his unbeaten 63.
"It was good we won the toss because the ball was swinging a bit in the morning and helped our seamers," said Pakistan's coach Mansoor Rana.
"Even though we lost early wickets, I knew my batsmen were capable enough of chasing the target.
"I have not seen the South Africans play but I think it will be a good semi-final because South Africa is always a very competitive side."
In the other quarter-final, New Zealand put up a challenging 213 with opener George Worker making 48, captain Kane Williamson 34 and Fraser Colson 39.
Off-spinners Umesh Karunarathna and Roshan Silva claimed three wickets each, while left-arm slow bowler Navin Kavikara took two.
New Zealand seamers Tim Southee and Trent Boult wrecked Sri Lanka's reply, reducing the Islanders to 44-4 by the 11th over.
Left-handed Sachith Pathirana was the lone batsmen to offer resistance, making a stroke-filled 42 before he was stumped off Nicolas Beard in the 34th over.
Southee finished with 3-25, Boult took 1-34 and India-born seamer Anurag Varma claimed 2-22.
(Article: Copyright © 2008 AFP)
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