‘We won’t give a second chance’ – Ubaid Shah signals warning ahead of semi-final

Pakistan’s leading wicket-taker in the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Ubaid Shah said he “will go back after winning the World Cup” ahead of their semi-final clash against Australia on 8 February in Benoni.

By Rutvik Chhibber in Benoni

Ubaid Shah has had a stellar U19 World Cup scalping 17 wickets in five matches at an impressive average of 10.52 including a five-wicket haul that came in a do-or-die match against U19 Asia Cup winners, Bangladesh, and secured Pakistan's semi-final qualification while defending a below par total of 155.

“We are happy to make it to the semi-final. The way I have performed and got support from the team and management (means a lot). The way we have come prepared and taken a start, we will hope to finish the same way,” Shah told ICC Digital in an exclusive interview.

Pakistan v Bangladesh | Match Highlights | U19 CWC 2024

Pakistan sealed a spot in the semi-finals with this win.

In search of their third ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup title, Pakistan have so far ensured no team can breach the 200-run mark against them. Shah acknowledged it as a testament to their bowling quality in the tournament as they go into the semi-final undefeated.

“The batting of our Pakistan team has been good but when we talk about our bowling, it is very good. In the whole tournament, no team has been able to go past 200 against us which is one of the biggest positives."

Being Naseem Shah’s younger brother has raised expectations for Ubaid on the big stage and he has not disappointed. In fact, he draws inspiration from Naseem and seeing him perform makes him the happiest.

The stump destroyers! | Naseem Shah and Ubaid Shah in action | U19 CWC 2024

The Yorker specialists!

“If I talk about individual performances, I watch my brother (Naseem Shah) a lot. I get happy watching the team perform well but seeing Naseem do well makes me happier for obvious reasons.

He performed well against New Zealand and Afghanistan and when I faced the two teams in the tournament, I too bowled well, even in the crucial match against Bangladesh. This has made me the most happy.”

Brothers proving an inspiration for Ubaid Shah | U19 CWC 2024

From Shahzaib Khan’s hundred in the first game against Afghanistan to Azan Awais’ rescue knock against Nepal, in crunch situations, Pakistan have often found an individual raising their hand. In their five U19 World Cup matches so far, they have seen four different Player of the Match winners. Brimming with confidence, Ubaid is sure of Pakistan’s all-round ability to go all the way in the tournament.

“Everybody in our team is great. Shahzaib has scored a lot of runs for us and in bowling, I’ve got the most wickets for our team. I’ll continue to perform like this for my team and the quality of batting and bowling we’ve got, we will go back after winning the World Cup.”

Ubaid Shah POTM Highlights | U19 Men’s CWC 2024

Ubaid Shah took 5/44

“Whenever we set our foot on the ground, we tell ourselves that we are going to play with aggression. Winning and losing is a part of the game. We won’t lose by being lazy. We will always put up a fight even if we lose. The way we played against Bangladesh is our template. We will try to win quickly but with aggression.”

The spotlight now moves to their semi-final bout against Australia, who are unbeaten in the tournament as well.

This Pakistan team has already experienced the feeling of reaching a semi-final when they made it to the one in the U19 Asia Cup last year. Although they lost, Ubaid is assured that his team won’t give the opposition side a ‘second chance’ this time.

“We reached the semi-final of the Asia Cup as well and lost closely.

"We will learn from our mistakes and improve on them. We won’t give a second chance now to another team," he concluded.

NewsU19 Cricket World CupICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup, 2024