Pakistan suffered a massive 203-run defeat against India in the semi-final of Under-19 World Cup. India progressed to their sixth world cup final and eventually emerged as winners against Australia for the fourth time to be the only country with four U-19 cricket world cup titles. However, in a bizarre choice of words, Pakistan under-19 team manager Nadeem Khan on Sunday attributed his team’s loss against champions India to ‘magic spell’. Yes! You read that right. Nadeem on returning from New Zealand during a media conference said that the way the players performed against India, it seemed as someone had cast a magic spell on them. Nadeem said, “We were confident that it would be a close match but as the match progressed and our batting went down for 59 it made one wonder if there was a magic spell on the team. It appeared as if our batsmen had no idea what was happening out on the field or how to tackle the situation and pressure.”
Nadeem, who is the elder brother of Moin Khan, suggested that though the under-19 team needed a lot of work and improvements in several areas, the Pakistan team could not have gone down in a disastrous manner they were defeated and that has to be the work of magic spell performed on the team. However, the former spinner confessed that performance was not satisfactory even though they managed to make to the semifinal. Nadeem also said that compared to previous youth teams the current generation of junior players lacked in many areas.
Nadeem heaped praise of Rahul Dravid for his gesture towards the Pakistani boys and said that the Indian team coach visited their dressing room to boost the morale of the players. Nadeem visited India in 1999 with the Pakistan Test squad.
India’s finish in the semi-final against Pakistan was a clinical one and led to a comprehensive victory as the Indian team kept their composure in which Shubman Gill thrashed 102 of 94 balls with Manjot Kalra and Shaw contributing runs in the 40s. Pakistan failed to make any headway in the match as only two players reached double digits as Ishan Porel thwarted their batting line up with 4/17 in the powerplay.