WHANGAREI – The first match and tournament opener of Under-19 World Cup (U-19 WC) will be played between Pakistan and Afghanistan at Cobham Oval, New Zealand, on Saturday.
The opening day of the 22-day tournament will witness four matches, including those featuring defending champions the West Indies and two-time champions Pakistan.
On Saturday, Pakistan take on dark horses Afghanistan in Whangarei while the Windies face New Zealand in a day-night fixture in Tauranga.
In other matches on the opening day to be played here, Bangladesh take on Namibia and Papua New Guinea play Zimbabwe.
Afghanistan’s skipper Nawin-ul-Haq said the team was fully prepared for all the tournament games specially the contest with Pakistan.
He said his team had recently beaten Pakistan two times and the pressure was on them.
Three-time champions India will open their campaign against Group B counterparts Australia at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui on Sunday.
Pakistan U19 Squad: Muhammad Mohsin Khan, Muhammad Zaid Alam, Rohail Nazir, Mohammad Taha, Ali Zaryab , Saad Khan, Hasan Khan(c), Muhammad Musa, Shaheen Afridi, Munir Riaz, Suleman Shafqat, Ammad Alam, Arshad Iqbal, Imran Shah, Mohammad Ali Khan
Afghanistan U19 Squad: Naveen-ul-Haq(c), Rahmanullah, Mohammad Ibrahim, Darwish Rasooli, Nisar Wahdat, Tariq Stanikzai, Azmatullah, Qais Ahmad, Mujeeb Zadran, Zahir Khan, Yousuf Zazai, Wafadar, Ikram Faizi, Baheer Shah, Waqar Ishaqzai
The 16 teams have been divided into four groups of four teams each.
Along side India and Australia, Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe are also part of the Group B while Group A consists of Kenya, New Zealand, South Africa and the West Indies.
Bangladesh, Canada, England and Namibia form Group C while Group D comprises Afghanistan, Ireland, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
All teams in each group will play each other once. The top two from each group will qualify for the quarterfinals. The top four will qualify for the semi-finals.
The final will be played on February 3 at Mount Maunganui.
Saturday (UAE TIME)
Group D: Afghanistan v Pakistan (1.30am)
Group B: Papua New Guinea v Zimbabwe (1.30am)
Group C: Bangladesh v Namibia (1.30am)
Group A: New Zealand v West Indies (4am)
Group D: Ireland v Sri Lanka (1.30am)
Group A: Kenya v South Africa (1.30am)
Group B: Australia v India (4am)