India Under-19 vs Pakistan Under-19: Previous World Cup encounters
Vijay Zol of India (left) and Sami Aslam of Pakistan — Whose team will emerge winner in the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2014 Match 7 at Dubai © Getty Images


India Under-19 will face Pakistan Under-19 as their ICC Under-19 World Cup 2014 kicks off. Nishad Pai Vaidya revisits some old encounters between the two sides.


Irrespective of the stage or the setting, an India-Pakistan encounter always invokes great interest. For the players, it is a must-win game, irrespective of the stakes. As India Under-19 take on Pakistan Under-19 at the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2014 in the United Arab Emirates, let us revisit some of the old World Cup  encounters between the two youth sides:


1. India Young Cricketers vs Pakistan Young Cricketers, McDonald’s Bicentennial Youth Cup, 1988 – In 1988, the first Youth tournament was held, and it wasn’t an under-19 tournament. India and Pakistan clashed on March 2 at the Wendworth Oval Down Under. Pakistan were led by Zahoor Elahi and had the likes of Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mushtaq Ahmed, Aaqib Javed and Basit Ali. India’s captain was Arjan Kripal Singh and featured Pravin Amre, Venkatapathy Raju, Narendra Hirwani and Nayan Mongia. Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat first, but could only score 194 for the loss of seven wickets in their 50 overs. Shahid Anwar was the top-scorer with 43 with the Indian bowlers sharing the honours. In reply, India were bowled out by an inspired Pakistani bowling with Elahi leading the way with a four-for.


2. India Under-19 vs Pakistan Under-19, ICC Under-19 World Cup 1998, Durban – The first real Under-19 tournament was held in South Africa in 1998 and with this important game being played at Durban, a city with a significant sub-continental population, there was a good turnout. Bazid Khan led a Pakistan side featuring Shoaib Malik, Hasan Raza, Abdul Razzaq and the future South Africa international Imran Tahir. And, there were numerous familiar faces in the Indian ranks as well. Virender Sehwag, Mohammad Kaif, Harbhajan Singh, Reetinder Sodhi and Laxmi Ratan Shukla formed the crux of the side. Amit Bhandari led the way for India after Pakistan batted first and his four wicket haul ensured they were bowled out for 188. In reply, India stuttered early with Sehwag scoring a duck. But, skipper Amit Pagnis and Kaif scored half centuries to ensure a five-wicket victory.


3. India Under-19 vs Pakistan Under-19, ICC Under-19 World Cup 2002, Lincoln, New Zealand – The Parthiv Patel-led side featured Irfan Pathan, Stuart Binny, Mohnish Mishra and Manvinder Bisla to name a few. Pakistan were captain by Salman Butt, who was making a name as an elegant left-hander. At his disposal, he had Umar Gul, Mohammad Khalil and Junaid Zia forming the pace-attack and they bowled India out for 188 after putting them in to bat. Deepak Chougule was the top-scorer for India with 47. India put on a spirited effort with the ball as they took eight wickets. However, Butt’s 85 anchored Pakistan and helped them seal victory with numerous overs to spare.


4. India Under-19 vs Pakistan Under-19, ICC Under-19 World Cup 2004, Semi-Final, Dhaka – This Indian team looked very good as they had fluent stroke-makers in Robin Uthappa, Ambati Rayudu, Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik. In comparison, only three players from Pakistan went on to play international cricket. Riaz Afridi, who made his Test debut later that year, showed the way when India batted first in the semi-final and a team-effort saw them being bowled out for 169. Pakistan did crawl to 83 for five, but Fawad Alam and Tariq Mahmood saw it through without further trouble. Pakistan went on to win the World Cup by beating West Indies in the final.


5. India Under-19 vs Pakistan Under-19, ICC Under-19 World Cup 2006, Final, Colombo – This is a game that defined the rivalry even at this age group, particularly because this was the final. When Piyush Chawla (4 for 8) and Ravindra Jadeja (3 for 16) engineered a collapse when Pakistan batted first, many felt India would have won quite easily. Pakistan were eventually bowled out for 109 and one couldn’t help but feel that the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma would overhaul it. However, Anwar Ali unleashed a lethal spell upfront that reduced India to nine for six. From there on, Chawla fought, but it was just too much. In an interview with CricketCountry in 2012, Pujara said, “If we had survived the first 10 overs, it wasn’t a big total at all. If you see the scorecards of our run through the tournament, we were the dominant side. One bad session was enough. It was that fateful hour that cost us the game – where we didn’t bat well at all. “


6. India Under-19 vs Pakistan Under-19, ICC Under-19 World Cup 2010, Quarter-Final, Lincoln, New Zealand – In a rain-reduced encounter, Pakistan stole the honours when they put India in to bat first. In those conditions, Pakistan bowlers did well to restrict India to only 114 in the allotted 23 overs. Mandeep Singh top-scored with 40. Fayyaz Butt (4 for 27) and Raza Hasan (3 for 26) were the main bowlers on the day for Pakistan. While chasing, Pakistan too were rocked by regular strikes. Ahsan Ali (30), Rameez Aziz (28) and Hammad Azam (21) made crucial runs and although they huffed and puffed, they crossed the line with three balls to spare and with only two wickets in hand.


7. India Under-19 vs Pakistan Under-19, ICC Under-19 World Cup 2012, Quarter-Final, Townsville, Australia – This game was by far the most thrilling contest in the 2012 World Cup. Townville was a difficult surface for the batsmen and the wily Sandeep Sharma made it difficult for Pakistan with his swing. Ravinkant Singh also took three wickets and Harmeet Singh bowled a miserly spell to shoot Pakistan out for 136. The chase began in wobbly fashion as India were reduced to eight for three. Baba Aparajith and Vijay Zol then rallied India into safer territory. But, India kept losing wickets as the target approached closer. With ten to win, it was left to the last pair who quietly went about their job to ward off nervousness. Harmeet finished it by smashing over the on-side. India went on to lift the cup by beating Australia in the final.


(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)