BENONI                  -              The New Zealand and Pakistan players could only wait and watch, and hope for the rain to go away so they could have a contest to determine who should finish third–behind Bangladesh and India, the two finalists–at the Under-19 World Cup.

As it turned out, the Benoni rain that had prevented the Australia v West Indies fifth-place playoff from being completed didn’t allow even a single ball to be bowled in this game, meaning Pakistan finished third and New Zealand fourth, because of their five points to New Zealand’s three in the group stage.

Pakistan had a strong run through the group stage, beating Scotland and Zimbabwe before their game against Bangladesh was rained off with Pakistan in a strong position, having reduced their opponents to 106 for 9. They then trumped Afghanistan by six wickets to enter the semi-final where they lost to India by ten wickets, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Divyaansh Saxena, the India openers, chasing down the target of 173 without much fuss.

New Zealand, meanwhile, had a rain-affected campaign to start with, their game against Japan called off with them very much in pole position, before they beat Sri Lanka but lost to India via the DLS method. West Indies were then beaten by two wickets in a close finish before New Zealand fell short against Bangladesh in the semi-final. Interestingly, the third-place playoff at the last edition of the World Cup, in 2018 in New Zealand, was also washed out without a ball bowled, and Pakistan finished third then too, pushing Afghanistan to fourth place.