WELLINGTON - Darwish Rasool struck an unbeaten 78-ball 76 to lead Afghanistan to victory in their opening match of the Under-19 World Cup, beating Pakistan by five wickets.

Chasing 189, Afghanistan were reduced to 50 for 3, before Rasooli, in the company of wicketkeeper Ikram Ali Khil, staved off Pakistan's challenge. Rasool shared partnerships of 75 with Khil (46), 42 with Nisar Wahdat (19) and 27* with Azmatullah Omarzai (12*) to carry Afghanistan home with 15 balls to spare. Prior to the start of their campaign, Rasool had spoken about the ease with which he can hit sixes and so his concentration was on batting long and pulling his team out of trouble.

After Pakistan had chosen to bat, they lost opener Muhammad Zaid for 0 and No. 3 Ammad Alam for 1. Wicketkeeper Rohail Nazir resurrected the innings in the company of Ali Zaryab Asif (30). The pair put on 88 off 138 balls.

Nazir's dismissal for 81 sparked a collapse as Pakistan gave away their last seven wickets for 42 runs. Fast bowler Omarzai and legspinner Qais Ahmad picked up three wickets apiece.

NEW ZEALAND V WINDIES

The Windies had taken the early initiative after being put in to bat in the opening Group A match as Keagan Simmons compiled an unbeaten 92 and put on 123 runs with opening partner Kimani Melius (78). However, they were restricted by some tight bowling later on and could only manage 233 for eight.

In what was the first of 20 matches in this tournament being broadcast live by ICC TV, pace bowler Matthew Fisher grabbed three for 61 and left-arm spinners Rachin Ravindra (three for 30) and Felix Murray (two for 37) kept the Windies side on a tight leash.

New Zealand coasted home with more than 10 overs to spare with Jakob Bhula also knocking up 83, leaving Windies captain Emmanuel Stewart disappointed. “I thought the effort of the opening batsmen was not supplemented. I also thought we did not use the new ball well enough because we needed some early wickets,” Stewart said.

BANGLADESH V NAMIBIA

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Bangladesh started with a comprehensive win in their bid to better their third-place finish as hosts last time, defeating Namibia by 87 runs in a Group C match reduced to 20 overs per side owing to rain.

Captain Mohammad Saif Hassan smashed 84 off 48 balls with three fours and five sixes to help post a huge 190 for four. Naim Sheikh also chipped in with 60 and the opposition were buried under the pressure of a huge target even though all-rounder Eben van Wyk got a half-century.

PNG V ZIMBABWE

Zimbabwe scored a 10-wicket win over Papua New Guinea in another match that was reduced to 20 overs a side.

They restricted Papua New Guinea to 95 in the opening Group B match and then got to the target with six overs to spare. Wesseley Madevere grabbed three for 19 with his off-spin bowling and then made a brisk 53 not out to be named player of the match. His opening partner Gregory Dollar remained not out on 48.

Scores in brief:

Afghanistan beat Pakistan by 5 wickets in a Group D match at Cobham Oval, Whangarei

PAKISTAN: 188, 47.4 overs (Rohail Nazir 81, Ali Zaryab 30, Azmatullah Omarzai 3-34, Qais Ahmad 3-38, Naveen-ul-Haq 2-30)

AFGHANISTAN: 194-5, 47.3 overs (Darwish Rasool 76 not out, Ikram Ali 46, Rahmanullah Gurbaz 31, Hassan Khan 2-45)

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Darwish Rasool

Bangladesh beat Namibia by 87 runs in a Group C match at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln, Christchurch (20 overs per side)

BANGLADESH: 190-4, 20 Overs (Mohammad Saif Hassan 84, Naim Sheikh 60)

NAMIBIA: 103-6, 20 Overs (Eben van Wyk 55 not out, Hasan Mahmud 2-12, Qazi Onik 2-14)

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Mohammad Saif Hassan

New Zealand beat Windies by eight wickets in a Group A match at Bay Oval, Tauranga

WINDIES: 233-8, 50 overs (Keagan Simmons 92 not out, Kimani Melius 78, Rachin Ravindra 3-30, Matthew Fisher 3-61, Felix Murray 2-37)

NEW ZEALAND: 234-2, 39.3 overs (Finn Allen 115 not out, Jakob Bhula 83).

Zimbabwe beat Papua New Guinea by 10 wickets in a Group B match at Lincoln No 3, Christchurch (20 overs per side)

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: 95 all out, 20 Overs (Igo Mahuru 26, Wesseley Madevere 3-19, Milton Shumba 2-19)

ZIMBABWE: 98 for no loss (Wesseley Madevere 53 not out, Gregory Dollar 48 not out)

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Wesseley Madevere.