Under 19 World Cup is ready to breakthrough in New Zealand. The countdown begins with less than 24 hours remaining to strike the first schedules of the tournament. On January 13, the first day of the tournament, four team matches will be played. Pakistan and Afghanistan will tussle in Whangarei, News Zealand and West Indies will play at Mount Maunganui, Lincoln will host the match between Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea, while Bangladesh and Namibia will face-off at another venue in Lincoln.
The U19 team of Afghanistan has been quite dominating over Pakistan in previous face-offs. In the Asia Cup, the team defeated Pakistan twice. For the World Cup series, the young team is visiting with the same set up of players. Afghanistan is boosted with players like Rahmanullah, Ibrahim Zadran and Qais Ahmad. Pakistan team is under a pressure, even if it is grouped with comparatively easier teams like Sri Lanka and Ireland.
In Mount Maunganui, the match would be a high voltage showdown as both the teams are on the top of favorites list. New Zealand team is accustomed to home conditions, while West Indies shows no sign of difficulty on any type of pitch. Under this condition, the home might be at the greater pressure owning to the crowd, while West Indies is readying a bolstered attack.
Lincoln hosting Zimbabwe against Papua New Guinea is looking forward to a strong fixture. The former lost to New Zealand in the warm-up fixture. However, the match had impressive performance from several players in the squad in both bowling and batting. Kieran Robinson and Milton Shumba are expected to spearhead bowling. Batsmen Shumba and Robert Chimhinya had excellent knocks against New Zealand. Papua New Guinea will look to tackle Zimbabwe at any cost as it is their opportunity to thumb a big win, against a crucial team. In the previous World Cup season, Bangladesh was third. This might put Namibia at pressure in the match. However, the team lost to Afghanistan in the warm-up fixture.
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