Stanikzai stars as Afghanistan-19 clinch Plate Championship
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): An audacious unbeaten ton by Tariq Stanikzai helped Afghanistan clinch their first-ever Plate Championship in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 World Cup on Friday.
Stanikzai smashed a 142-ball 106 added polish to the occasion as Afghanistan Under-19 peg back a spirited Zimbabwe Under-19 at the Sheikh Kamal International Stadium to finish ninth in the Under-19 World Cup.
It was the first Plate trophy for the Afghans, who had been outplayed in the final by Sri Lanka Under-19 in 2012, Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) spokesman Farid Hotak told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Zimbabwe won the toss and opted to bat first, posting a 216-run total for the loss of nine wickets in the stipulated 50 overs. Balf-centuries by Ryan Murray (53) and William Mashinge (66) were the highlights of their innings.
Zimbabwe slumped to 15 for three as Zia-ur-Rehman spun a web of deception, shattering the stumps of Brendan Sly and Jeremy Ives. But Murray, putting on 45 with Mavuta for the fourth wicket, played a key role in a averting a second tumble.
For Afghanistan, Ziaur Rehman and Muslim Musa captured three wickets each. Although Afghanistan’s chase of the target was wobbly, Stanikzai and Rashid (55) put on an unbroken 95 runs that saw their team dry and home in 46.5 overs.
Karim Janat went back to the pavillion in the third over, with Ihsanullah lending brief support to Stanikzai before falling to Rugare Magarira. Perwez Malakzai chipped in with 13, as Ikram Faizi and Shamsur Rahman were dismissed in quick succession.
Rashid hit some fluent boundaries and a couple of towering sixes, joining Stanikzai in a courages comeback effort. While plundering boundaries, Rashid scored his fifty in 45 balls just before his partner reached a fine century.
Stanikzai struck the winning six, touching off a wave of jubilation among the Afghans. The pair literally turned the game around with an unbroken stand of 95, with 19 balls remaining. Stanikzai was awarded the man of the match award.
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