Five top performers at the U19 World Cup so far

There have been plenty of standout players at the ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup 2024 thus far and we highlight five future stars that have led the way through the group stage and Super Six phase.

By Jonathan Healy

Musheer Khan - India

334 runs at 83.50
Four wickets at 24.25

The India all-rounder is a player of immense talent and has already shown his capabilities in South Africa with bat and ball.

Two centuries - with just one failure - from five innings highlight Musheer's output at the tournament thus far, with his best effort coming against New Zealand where he contributed a brilliant 131 from just 126 deliveries and then chipped in with two valuable wickets in a standout Player of the Match performance.

The most runs scored by an India player at a previous edition of the U19 World Cup was white-ball specialist Shikhar Dhawan (505 runs) back in 2004 and on current form one would think Musheer must be some chance to surpass the former great.

Musheer Khan on family and cricket | U19 CWC 2024

Following brother Sarfaraz, Musheer Khan is driving India's next generation.

Ubaid Shah - Pakistan

17 wickets at 10.52
31 runs at 10.3

Naseem Shah burst onto the international stage at a young age and Ubaid can follow in the footsteps of his older brother if he can build on his efforts shown at the U19 World Cup.

Ubaid has been a model of consistency through five matches at the event, with his most recent effort a superb five-wicket haul in Pakistan's narrow triumph over Bangladesh that sealed their place in the semi-finals.

The right-armer can generate movement with the new ball and is equally as adept bowling at the death and is a player of huge promise for Pakistan in the future.

With three more scalps during the knockout stages Ubaid can surpass the 19-wicket hauls managed by compatriots Riaz Afridi (2004) and Mushtaq Ahmed (1988) at previous editions of the tournament and claim the record for the most wickets by a Pakistan player in one edition of the event.

Brothers proving an inspiration for Ubaid Shah | U19 CWC 2024

Kwena Maphaka - South Africa

18 wickets at 9.55
13 runs (not dismissed)

A trio of five-wicket hauls has the tall South Africa quick in the box seat to finish the tournament as the leading wicket-taker and that's not the only accolade the left-armer is in contention for.

Five more wickets will see Maphaka break Enamul Haque Junior's record of 22 for the most wickets in a single edition of the U19 World Cup, while the 17-year-old is four scalps away from overtaking Zimbabwe's Wessly Madhevere's haul of 28 for the most wickets in total at the U19 World Cup with the South African having managed seven wickets at the 2022 tournament.

Maphaka has been a class above with the ball for the Proteas on home soil, with many of his 18 wickets coming with the new ball that he has been able to move both ways and cause much discomfort for opposition batters.

It's hard to top Maphaka's haul of 6/21 against Sri Lanka, although his spell of 5/38 against the West Indies at the start of the tournament was equally impressive with four of his wickets coming bowled or LBW.

Kwena Maphaka POTM Highlights | U19 CWC 2024

Kwena Maphaka took a five-wicket haul to give the hosts their first win of the tournament.

Hugh Weibgen - Australia

252 runs at 63

High quality players tend to save their best performances for the most important games of all and that certainly looked the way for Weibgen as he played a gem of a knock during Australia's crucial Super Six clash against England.

Weibgen steadied Australia's innings following the loss of Sam Konstas in the opening over and then put England to the sword with an intelligent knock that helped his side compile a match-winning score.

The right-hander also batted with high IQ when amassing an equally important innings of 39* at the start of the tournament against Namibia and the 19-year-old will be pivotal to Australia's push for a fourth U19 World Cup title.

Hugh Weibgen POTM Highlights | U19 CWC 2024

Hugh Weibgen won the POTM award

Steve Stolk - South Africa

214 runs at 42.80

While seven players at the tournament have exceeded Stolk's tally of 214 runs, not one has gone close to bettering his impressive strike-rate of 148.61.

That strike-rate is so impressive that a look back at previous editions of the U19 World Cup shows class performers in the ilk of Kieran Powell (124.01 in 2008) of the West Indies, New Zealand's Finn Allen (119.01 in 2018) and India's Shubman Gill (112.38 in 2018) as players able to go closest to matching that scoring clip.

It was the opener's innings of 86 from just 37 deliveries against Scotland that made many take notice of the South African as the hard-hitting opener smashed seven fours and eight massive sixes in an unbelievable individual knock.

South Africa have a habit of producing high quality white-ball batters and Stolk appears to be another player on their way to the top.

Steve Stolk POTM Highlights | U19 CWC 2024

Steve Stolk hit eight fours and seven sixes during his 37-ball 86.

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