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2024 U-19 World Cup: Dhas, Maphaka, and others who could make it big

Last updated on 13 Feb 2024 | 02:43 PM
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2024 U-19 World Cup: Dhas, Maphaka, and others who could make it big

Here are some of the players who looked head and shoulders above the rest in the recently concluded event

Sachin Dhas

(Innings 7 | Runs 303 | Average 60.60 | Strike Rate 116.53 | 50s/100s 1/1)

Uday Saharan, Musheer Khan, Harry Dixon and Hugh Weibgen scored more runs, but Dhas looked like the most complete batter in the tournament. The 19-year-old batted in three different positions and still didn’t look out of place. Amongst batters who got at least 200 runs in the event, Dhas had the third-best strike rate.

He didn’t get much chance to bat in the first four games but still contributed with cameos of 26* off 20, 21* off 9, 20 off 16 and 15 off 11. He was finally promoted to No. 5 against Nepal and responded with 116 off 101 deliveries. However, it was his knock in the semi-final against South Africa that forced everyone to sit up and take notice. 

India were reduced to 32/4 in the 245-run chase but that’s when Dhas stood up and slammed 96 off 95 deliveries. He put on a 171-run stand with Saharan and led India to a victory. Even in the final against Australia’s strong bowling attack, Dhas (9 off 8) was the only Indian batter who tried to be proactive. The batter from Maharashtra can do it all, so don’t be surprised if we once again hear the chant “Sachin, Sachin” in the future.

Australia’s pace quartet

Callum Vidler, Mahli Beardman, Tom Straker and Charlie Anderson were relentless throughout the competition and it was largely because of them Australia won the World Cup.  Anderson is tall, and he swings the ball quite nicely. Beardman is quick, accurate and quite lethal for a first-change seamer. Vidler’s swinging menace and Straker’s hit-the-deck accuracy rounds up the attack quite well. 

Also read - Australia’s ‘complete’ pace attack shows a mirror to India’s rigid approach

The four call themselves a cartel and they defended their territory with some authority. Beardman, Straker, Vidler and Anderson picked up 41 wickets between them and complemented each other perfectly. Even in the final, the four of them made Indian batters uncomfortable and easily defended 253. Australian pacers ended the tournament with the best average (12.6), economy rate (3.6) and balls/wicket (21.2). 

Kwena Maphaka

(Innings 6 | Wickets 21 | Average 9.71 | Balls/Wicket 15.28 | Economy Rate 3.81)

The player of the tournament, Maphaka claimed three five-wicket hauls in six encounters. Playing his second Under-19 World Cup, the 17-year-old has all the required skillsets to be the Kagiso Rabada re-gen. Maphaka has the pace and can also move the ball both ways. That’s not it, he can also bowl a knuckleball and has a sharp bouncer too. 

“To be very honest, Kwena Maphaka is a clone of Rabada; he has a beautiful run-up, he has a great running technique and is quick as well, I can see him emulating what Rabada has done for South Africa in the future,” former Cricket South Africa analyst Prasanna Agoram recently told 

Also read - Kwena Maphaka, the Kagiso Rabada re-gen who bowls thunderbolts

Maphaka started the event with a five-wicket haul against West Indies but went wicketless against England. He didn’t have a great game against Scotland either but bounced back with 5/34 against Zimbabwe and 6/21 against Sri Lanka. In the semi-final, the left-armer took three wickets and had India on the back foot before Saharan and Dhas saved the day.

Steve Stolk

(Innings 6 | Runs 228 | Average 38 | Strike Rate 141.61 | 50s/100s 2/0)

Not even among the top-10 run-getters, but had a better strike rate than everyone in the tournament. The 18-year-old from South Africa had a strike rate of more than 110 in four out of his six innings. Against Scotland, he smoked 86 off 37 deliveries. He even slammed a 55-ball 64 against England. No other batter hit more sixes than Stolk (11). An opener who can score quickly in the powerplay, Stolk is made for modern-day cricket.

Tazeem Ali

(Innings 4 | Wickets 14 | Average 9.64 | Balls/Wicket 16.21 | Economy Rate 3.56)

Amongst bowlers who bowled at least 30 overs in the event, the legspinner from England had the best average and the second-best balls/wicket. The 17-year-old claimed three wickets each against South Africa and West Indies before ending the competition with a seven-wicket haul against Zimbabwe. 7/29 - the second-best bowling figures in the U19 World Cup history. 

England would surely not mind a legspinner with so many variations up his sleeves.

Saumy Pandey

(Innings 7 | Wickets 18 | Average 10.27 | Balls/Wicket 22.94 | Economy Rate 2.68)

The left-arm spinner from India didn’t go wicketless in a single game and ended the WC as the joint second-highest wicket-taker. He also had the best economy amongst bowlers who bowled at least 30 overs. Three four-wicket hauls and one three-fer, Pandey was consistent throughout the event and acted as India’s all-phase bowler.

Also read - Saumy Pandey, aka junior Ravindra Jadeja

You look at how Pandey operates, you would know why the commentators were constantly referring to him as “Junior Jadeja” on air. Target the stumps and keep varying the pace - that’s more or less how Ravindra Jadeja has got close to 550 wickets in international cricket. And Pandey’s way of left-arm spin is no different. His biggest strength is consistency and that could take him a long way.

Ubaid Shah

(Innings 6 | Wickets 18 | Average 12.38 | Balls/Wicket 18 | Economy Rate 4.12)

Naseem Shah’s younger brother, Ubaid surely made a name for himself in the World Cup. The right-arm paceman picked up three or more wickets in four out of six games and did not go wicketless even once. Ubaid’s best performance came against Bangladesh, where he took five wickets and helped Pakistan defend a total of just 155. He can already touch the 140-kmph mark and has a bright future ahead of him.  

Jewel Andrew

(Innings 4 | Runs 207 | Average 69 | Strike Rate 109.52 | 50s/100s 1/1)

West Indies didn’t qualify for the semis but Andrew made quite an impression. The wicketkeeper-batter from West Indies started the tournament with a knock of 130 against South Africa. Chasing a target of 286, the right-hander smashed 130 off just 96 deliveries from No. 6 and almost single-handedly led West Indies to victory. He followed that up with an unbeaten 64 against Scotland but couldn’t do much versus England and Sri Lanka. No other batter scored more runs than him batting at No. 6 or lower.

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