Saturday, February 23, 2008

All Asian Semi Final? EYE!

Cricket's blogosphere space has been dominated by the IPL player auction over the last 2-3 days. On Well Pitched I covered the entire auction and then gave my 2 cents on what I thought about it. The other blogs that I frequent - Soulberry's TCWJ, Uncle J's Cricket with Balls, and Ottayan's midoff, have all shared their views on what went down at the Hilton Towers in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Apart from the blogosphere, the TV channels, newspapers, and other cricket websites on the net have also been driven into a frenzy over the IPL auction that other cricket going on around the world has been slightly ignored. Thus I thought it was a good time to shift the focus from what went down in Mumbai to whats been happening in Malaysia.

The U-19 World Cup enters the Quarter Finals stage tomorrow and this is what the line-up looks like:

QF1: Bangladesh vs South Africa
QF2: India vs England
QF3: Sri Lanka vs New Zealand
QF4: Pakistan vs Australia

Apart from the Windies, all major teams have made it to the knockout stage. Bangladesh's presence in the last 8 may seem like a surprise but their U-19 players managed to get there with an unbeaten record. They managed convincing wins over Bermuda and Ireland and then stunned England with a 13 run win to finish top of their pool.

The other 3 Asian teams also entered the Quarter Finals with an unbeaten record topping their respective pools. Defending champions Pakistan easily beat hosts Malaysia and Zimbabwe and won a close game against the Kiwis. Not surprisingly, all 3 victories were set up by the Paki bowlers.

The Indian young guns won their 3 matches convincingly and topped the toughest pool of round 1 beating Papua New Guinea, South Africa, and the Windies. The Indian U-19 batsmen have looked in devastating form. Any surprise that the Indian and Pakistani U-19 teams are similar to their seniors - one reliant on their batting and the other on their bowling.

The Lankans have looked very impressive easily brushing aside Nepal, Namibia, and a strong Australian side. The Lankan seniors could learn a trick or two from their junior counterparts on how to beat Australia.

The Quarterfinals get underway tomorrow and I'm rooting for an all Asian clash in the semis. Its a pity though that the repeat of the 2006 U-19 WC Final is out of the question because if Pakistan and India win their Quarters, they will come face to face in the Semis as per the tournament format.

All those rooting for an All Asian Semi Final Clash, say EYE!

Make your pitch on this post...

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23 Pitched:

  1. Aashrey said...

    EYE! :D
    India Pakistan final would have been great though.

  2. Q said...

    Welcome to Well Pitched Aashrey.

    Yes that would have been another great final. But oh well, we can have a great semi :-)

    India's blown away England who were 113-7 the last time I checked.

  3. Soulberry said...

    Hi Q...thanks mate. All four Asian teams are in the quarters...who can say at the moment, but what if all four end up in the semis? Not impossible if you consider Australia's up and down batting performance. Nepal bowled them out for a creditable score.

  4. Q said...

    Its going to be a clash of Pakistan's bowling and Australia's batting SB.

    Pakistan has some batsmen who have really fired in the domestic scene this season but they haven't clicked in the WC. But their bowlers have.

    Lets see how it goes.

    India's batting has been tremendous and they've bowled England out for 146 so on paper it looks goo for Virat Kohli and Co. But England's bowlers have done well in Round 1 bowling all opposition out for under 150. It could be a close game. I'll still bet on India though. A 6 wicket win with VK hitting the winning runs.

  5. Soulberry said...

    tell me something Q...where can I get the Oz-Pak match telecast?

    I don't think my channels are showing it....or maybe they'll show a delayed telecast later in the night. any spot on the web?

    India have looked a steady batting side..there are some guys who need to fire though. The keeper, Goswami may do well to come lower down the order.

  6. Aashrey said...

    Thanks Q.

    Let's hope we get the great semi.
    I think Pakistan has enough in their bowling to defeat Australia.

    And South Africa's scored 242 against Bangladesh. What do you think?

  7. Q said...

    SB - I won't be getting the Pak v Aus match here either. I've caught most of the matches during the highlights package on GEO News late at night. I'm not sure if you get that channel in India.

    On the web u can catch a live telecast via sopcast or at times the highlights package on Try this link:

    Aashrey - I think Bangladesh will find it difficult to chase that total. Doesn't look like an All Asia SF now.

  8. Soulberry said...

    Thanks Q...I do get Geo and I'll tune in there. Thanks also for the weblink...I remember having visited that site before.

    Taruwar Singh looks a fine prospect for India. He has the makings of a good opener.

  9. Q said...

    U mean Turuwar Kohli SB. Or is he a Singh? He's from Punjab I think but i've got his name as Taruwar Kohli.

    I haven't seen him bat but he has done well in this tournament. India has never had a problem finding good batsmen.

    I like Virat Kohli, he Indian captain. I had heard about his amazing double hundred in an under-19 tournament in India and I caugt glimpses of his 100 against the Windies a few days back. Promising youngster.

  10. Aashrey said...

    Yeah cricinfo has it down as turuwar kohli. So, must be it.
    I think Virat Kohli has a huge future ahead. He's extremely talented and if the selectors handle him well, we could have a future captain as well.
    Thinking too far ahead, I think.

  11. Q said...

    It is thinking too far ahead Aashrey. Remember everyone said the same thing about Kaif and Sodhi. I hope VK doesn't go down the same route.

    I also hope all these youngsters dont get spoilt by all the money being thrown by the IPL - Its good that the BCCI is trying to come up with rules for bidding for the junior players.

  12. Aashrey said...

    I still think Kaif was a good find. He was given up too because he wasn't flashy enough. Look at Mike Hussey- he's not flashy, but he does his job right and that's what counts.
    Anyway, yeah considering the IPL, they should be a little careful with the amount of money they spend on the younger players. The financial counseling by the BCCI is a good start.

  13. Q said...

    I agree - BCCI let go of Kaif too early.

    1 out of the 4 Asian teams through.

  14. Aashrey said...

    If Bangladesh can pull it off against SA, I think we have a decent chance for the all Asian semi-finals.

  15. Q said...

    The South Africans have broken my dream of an all Asian Semi. The Bengalis were bowled out for 41!!!

    Fine performance by the Protea skipper - 57 and 6-8 of 5 overs!

  16. Aashrey said...

    Now,no Asian final either- Sri Lanka's also been knocked out. Well we should have a brilliant semi to look out for though.

  17. Q said...

    No Aashrey, Asian Final is a possibility. I reported wrong. Read my latest post :-)

  18. Aashrey said...

    Yeah, cricinfo does say its an India-NZ semi. Ah, that's great.

    I hope we get even with Pakistan this time around though, that is if both of them reach the finals(which we know they will).


  19. Q said...

    Hahahaha...Aashrey buddy I'm Pakistani so u hope u get even with us and I'll hope Pak repeats its 2006 performance :-)

    I generally feel that the U-19 Asian teams are better than the others. Theres an interesting story there - maybe I'll do a piece on that.

  20. Aashrey said...

    I know you're Pakistani, I read your blog. I just didn't want any animosity and all.
    Just for the sake of it, I hope you lose. Haha.

  21. Q said...

    Hahaha..never had any animosity Aashrey :-)..I love India and when its not against Pakistan I always support them.

    When u said "I hope we get even with Pakistan..." i assumed that u assumed I was Indian. Too many assumptions, u know what they abt assumptions right?

    EYE! :-)

  22. Aashrey said...

    Sorry, I did make it seem a little ambiguous.
    We seem to have a good match-up for the semis. SAf and NZ should get brushed aside easily. Your bowlers seem to be in devastating form.

  23. Q said...

    I'm wary of South Afria though, they have been good and their captain, Wayne Parnell is in devastating form with bat and ball.

    As always Pak's bowlers have won them the matches and the Indian batsmen have done amazingly well. The top 3 run scorers are all Indian. If the match does happen in the final then it will be a great contest between Pak bowlers vs Indian batsmen.

    Looking forward to it.

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