The fifth round of the 18-team National U19 Cup was scheduled to be played in five cities – Karachi, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot and Sargodha on 17 October. Following the completion of the fifth round, Karachi Whites continue their reign over group A, with four wins in five games. All six games for group B and group C were abandoned due to weather. As a result, owing to a better NRR than Multan, Rawalpindi remain securely placed at the first position on the table. Abbottabad, undefeated in the tournament, comfortably sit on top of Group C. Consequently, Karachi Whites, Rawalpindi and Abbottabad march ahead to the triangular stage of the Cup, which is scheduled for 20 to 24 October.
Karachi Whites, after defeating Faisalabad by 15 runs at Oval Ground in Karachi, finished the fifth round at top of the table. Karachi Whites posted 228 for nine in the first innings. Saad Khan, who produced a magnificent century (101, 154b, 11x4s), was the standout batter for his side. Hassan Ali Shoukat grabbed four wickets. In return, Karachi bowled out Faisalabad for 213 runs in 45.4 overs. Fahad Ameen bagged three wickets while Saif Ameen and Haroon Arshad got two apiece. Nabeel Rafiq’s (76, 107b, 5x4s, 2x6s) fighting knock went in vain, as the side failed to chase the target. Following the defeat, Faisalabad ended at third position.
FATA, who are second on the table, won by seven wickets against AJK at KCCA Stadium, Karachi. AJK, who sit on the last spot, were dismissed for a measly 117 in 39.5 overs. Shahid Khan registered a five-fer and Mohammad Tahir got three wickets to his name as the AJK batters failed to ground themselves on the crease. Ali Abbas Khan (27, 55b, 1×4) was the top-scorer for the side. FATA chased the target easily, in just 21.2 overs, losing three wickets in the process. Khubaib Khalil, who produced an undefeated half-century (50 not out, 56b, 5x4s) was the highest scorer in the game.
Hyderabad defeated Quetta by six wickets at the UBL Sports Complex in Karachi. Quetta could only make 124 runs in 32.3 overs before getting bowled out. Ikramullah Khan Tareen scored 25 runs from 36 balls and hit five boundaries and was the top-scorer for the side. Gul Mohammad, Sheeraz Khan and Mohammad Ahsan grabbed two wickets apiece. Hyderabad chased the target in just 20.5 overs. Sheeraz (53 not out, 52b, 8x4s, 1×6) was the most prominent batter in the game. Following the fifth round, Hyderabad and Quetta occupy the fourth and fifth positions respectively.
Owing to weather-depleted conditions at Iqbal Stadium, Bohranwali Ground and Saeed Ajmal International Cricket Academy in Faisalabad, all three games for Group B were abandoned. Consequently, Rawalpindi top the table with three wins in five games. Multan, with as many wins as Rawalpindi, sit on the second spot, owing to difference in NRR. Lahore Blues occupy the third spot. Larkana, Peshawar and Islamabad sit at the fourth, fifth and sixth positions on the table respectively.
Weather conditions disallowed play at Jinnah Stadium in Gujranwala, Sports Stadium in Sargodha and Rana Naveed Cricket Academy in Sheikhupura. As a result, Abbottabad continued to occupy the top spot, remaining undefeated in the tournament thus far. Sialkot and Bahawalpur finish on second and third positions. Lahore Whites sit on the fourth spot and DM Jamali ended at the fifth position. Karachi Blues finished last on the table.
Karachi Whites, Rawalpindi and Abbottabad will now play one another at the triangular stage of the cup. The three matches are scheduled for 20, 22 and 24 October at Iqbal Stadium Faisalabad. Following the triangular stage, the top two teams will play the final on 26 October at Iqbal Stadium.