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Australia beats Pakistan by 25 runs to win its third ICC U19 Cricket World Cup

Australia bowlers clinically shut down Pakistan's batting threat to help their side win its third ICC U19 Cricket World Cup title with a hard-fought 25 runs victory at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Christchurch on Saturday.

Hazlewood and Doran close down Pakistan batting threat to secure victory

Australia captain Mitchell Marsh: "For our bowlers to defend 207 was amazing"

Photographs from the final available through ICC FTP site and Getty Images; Video news release available from SNTV

Australia bowlers clinically shut down Pakistan's batting threat to help their side win its third ICC U19 Cricket World Cup title with a hard-fought 25 runs victory at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Christchurch on Saturday.

Defending a modest total of 207 runs, Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood (4-30) and left-arm spinner Luke Doran (3-32) ripped through the Pakistan line-up as Azeem Guumman's side was bowled out for 182 runs in 46.4 overs.

Hazlewood's final wicket to finish the match set off scenes of celebration in the Australia camp as they hoisted the trophy for the first time since 2002 when it had defeated South Africa on the same ground. Australia had also beaten Pakistan in the inaugural World Cup final in 1988 in Adelaide where it had won by five wickets.

The final was a tense, fluctuating affair played in perfect cricketing conditions, in front of a colourful crowd and the ESPN STAR Sports cameras.

Chasing 208 runs to lift the title for the third time this decade, Pakistan, which had come into match with an unbeaten record, had started comfortably with Babar Azam (28) and Ahmad Shazhad (36) accumulating 54 runs for the second wicket. However, it began to lose ground after Doran dismissed Shahzad and Babar in a space to five balls to reduce Pakistan to 74-3.

Hazlewood, after picking up the wicket of Ahsan Ali, returned for his second spell and broke the back of Pakistan middle and lower-order by claiming the wickets of Hammad Azam (0), Sarmad Bhatti (10) and Raza Hasan (10).

None of Pakistan's high-scoring line-up fired today and the side was unable to put together any significant partnerships, as Australia bowlers kept a tight line and astute field placings.

Pakistan wicketkeeeper Mohammed Waqas fell to a bizarre dismissal when he edged a ball which clipped the wicketkeeper's pad and ballooned to deep gully where it was caught by Hazlewood off Alex Keath. Pakistan captain Azeem Ghumman (41 off 90 balls) followed soon after when he was bowled by a Jason Floros off-break.

The departure of Azeem shifted the momentum in Australia's favour as Pakistan slipped from 156-6 to be bowled out for 182.

Hazlewood finished the match with figures of 4-30 from 8.4 overs and deservedly claimed the man-of-the-match award. Luke Doran's outstanding spell of left-arm orthodox spin brought him figures of 3-32.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan enjoyed a good start when, after sending Australia into bat, it dismissed both the openers in the first two overs. Nic Maddison was trapped in front of the wickets by Fayyaz Butt on the fifth ball of the day while Tom Beaton was magnificently caught in the second slip by Babar off Sarmad Bhatti in the next over.

Butt had Mitchell Marsh caught at the wicket behind for seven as Australia slipped to 23-3.

A succession of solid middle-order partnerships, however, brought Australia back into the game, including an outstanding 61-run seventh wicket stand between Tim Armstrong and 18-year-old South Australian Kane Richardson who hit a run-a-ball 44, including three boundaries and two sixes.

Armstrong held down the other end to compile a patient 37 from 70 balls as Australia recovered to finish at 207-9.

Australia captain Mitchell Marsh said he was thrilled to be taking the silverware home. "It's an absolutely amazing feeling," he said. "For our bowlers to defend 207 run and win, it's just amazing.

"We knew if we could get past the top-order we had a chance. Besides Hammad, Pakistan didn't have too much in the shed. That wicket was a great turning point that gave us the momentum in the end."

Marsh said he was happy to bat first. "We knew the wicket would do a bit with the new ball, but we just felt that runs on the boards in these sorts of games are pivotal. In the end the pressure got to Pakistan and we bowled beautifully. Runs on the board were definitely the key for us."

Man-of-the-match Hazlewood said the pressure his side applied was central to the win, especially after posting a modest total. "I think 220 or 230 was a par total, so we were probably 20 runs short," he said. "But it was a final and there was obviously the added pressure of batting second. That didn't help them and we took full advantage."

Hazlewood was especially pleased with today's result after being part of the side that finished sixth in Malaysia two years ago. "I think the team here is much more well-balanced than one that played in Malaysia," he said. "I think the conditions suited us well as we were close to home. There are a lot of good players in this side and hopefully they will continue the good work once they get back home."

Pakistan captain Azeem Ghumman said his side had felt confident after restricting Australia. "We were quite confident to chase 208 runs as the boys did well to restrict them to 207," he said. "We got a good start and we should have chased it easily.

"Our opening stand was quite good but our middle-order didn't click today. Everybody scored a bit but no-one was able to take us over the finish-line.

"Even though we lost the final, I'm confident that these guys have got great talent and a great future ahead of them. We have learnt a lot from this World Cup, and as a captain I have learnt a lot. Don't forget we are only teenagers."

Dominic Hendricks of South Africa was named the player-of-the-tournament after finishing as tournament's highest run-scorer, amassing 391 runs in six innings at an outstanding average of 97.75.

Score in brief:

Super League (final)

Pakistan v Australia at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln

Australia 207-9, 50 overs (Kane Richardson 44, Tim Armstrong 37, Jason Floros 35; Sarmad Bhatti 3-33, Fayyaz Butt 2-37)

Pakistan 182 all out, 46.4 overs (Azeem Ghumman 41, Ahmad Shahzad 36; Josh Hazlewood 4-30, Luke Doran 3-32)

Australia won by 25 runs

Man of the Match: Josh Hazlewood

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