New Delhi : The road to the ICC U19 World Cup 2024 final is set as India prepares to face South Africa on February 6, while Pakistan clashes with Australia on February 8 in the semifinals.
As the tournament progresses, promising talents have emerged, aiming to carry the cricketing legacy forward for their respective nations. Here's a glimpse of the top performers who have shone in the competition:
Musheer Khan (India)
India's all-rounder Musheer Khan, sibling to Mumbai's batting sensation Sarfaraz Khan, has been a standout performer. With 334 runs in five matches at an impressive average of 83.50, including two centuries and a fifty, Musheer leads the run-scoring charts. Additionally, he has contributed with the ball, claiming four wickets at an average of 24.25.
Heading into the final stages, Musheer has the opportunity to surpass Shikhar Dhawan's record for the highest runs in a single U19 World Cup (505 runs in 2004).
Ubaid Shah (Pakistan)
In the Pakistani camp, Ubaid Shah, the younger brother of pace sensation Naseem Shah, has made a significant impact. With 17 wickets in five matches at an average of 10.52, including a crucial five-wicket haul against Bangladesh, Ubaid stands as the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament. His ability to generate movement with the new ball and excel in death bowling makes him a promising prospect, just three wickets away from setting a new record for the most wickets in a single U19 World Cup for Pakistan.
Kwena Maphaka (South Africa)
South Africa's fast-bowling tradition continues with Kwena Maphaka, a 17-year-old sensation leading the wicket-taking charts. With 18 scalps at an average of 9.55 and a trio of five-wicket hauls, Maphaka is closing in on breaking records. Just five wickets away from surpassing Enamul Haque Junior's record and four away from overtaking Wessly Madhevere's overall wicket tally, Maphaka's movement with the new ball has been a highlight, notably with spells of 6/21 against Sri Lanka and 5/38 against West Indies.
Hugh Weibgen (Australia)
Australia's 19-year-old batsman Hugh Weibgen has been a reliable contributor with the bat. His pivotal knock of 120 runs against England in the Super Six clash guided Australia to a match-winning total of 266 runs. Weibgen has accumulated 252 runs in five matches at an impressive average of 63.00, positioning himself as the fifth-highest run-scorer in the tournament. His contributions will be crucial as Australia vies for its fourth U19 World Cup title.
Steve Stolk (South Africa)
Although seven players have outscored Steve Stolk, his remarkable strike rate of 148.61 sets him apart. With 214 runs at an average of 42.80 and two half-centuries, Stolk's aggressive batting style is unmatched. Notably, his explosive 86 in just 37 balls against Scotland showcased his ability with seven fours and eight sixes. Stolk's impressive strike rate surpasses previous U19 World Cup records, making him a potential future star in South Africa's white-ball cricket legacy.
—Input from Agencies