Under-19 World Cup – Australia, South Africa, India march into semi-finals

Saharan, Dhas score centuries as unbeaten India march on

Nepal had India 62 for 3 after 14 overs, but India ended with 297 for 5. During the chase, Nepal were 65 for 1, but by then, 21.4 overs had already elapsed. Six overs later, that score read 77 for 7. Eventually, Nepal limped to 165 for 9 despite batting out their entire 50-over quota. That difference in the scoreline highlighted the gulf between the sides during their Group 1 meeting. Unbeaten India entered the men’s Under-19 World Cup semi-finals while Nepal headed home.

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Nepal’s slide of 6 for 14 was fashioned by Saumy Pandey, who took three of those wickets, before finishing with 4 for 29. During that spell, Pandey seemed to have found just enough turn – or, at times, the lack of it – to bamboozle the batters. His third four-wicket haul of the tournament took his tally to 16 wickets at a staggering average of 6.62.

India’s win was set up with the bat by centurions Sachin Dhas and Uday Saharan. India were in a bit of bother after losing three early wickets, before the fourth-wicket pair got together in a 215-run fourth-wicket stand. Dhas dominated that partnership, smashing 116 off 101 balls in what turned out to be the highest stand for that wicket or lower in all Youth ODIs.

Saharan and Dhas were both on 11 off 15 balls at the 19-over mark, and from then onwards Dhas went on the attack. Promoted to No. 5, he got to a run-a-ball fifty in the 29th over, and finished with 11 fours and three sixes before falling in the 48th over. Saharan carried on and got to his century off from 107 deliveries.

Nepal dried up India’s boundaries in the death overs, conceding just 81 in the last 10 despite India going into the final powerplay with seven wickets in hand. They hit only five fours and a six in that period. One of them, midway through the 49th over, was expertly guided by Saharan between point and short third – it took him to 98, but he took his helmet off and began celebrating in the mistaken assumption that he had reached triple figures.

The milestone eventually came in the final over of the innings, as he ended the day as the World Cup’s second-highest run-getter.

Rain has the final say after Konstas rescues Australia

A washout in Kimberley ended West Indies’ hopes of making the semi-finals even as Australia confirmed their berth by finishing on top of Group 2 in the Super Sixes.

It was, however, not a straightforward result for them, after they were challenged at different stages by West Indies. Having been put in to bat, they were restricted to a modest 227 for 8 with five of the batters who made double-figures unable to kick on. They had then reduced West Indies to 24 for 2 in the fifth over when the rains came.

In the little play possible, Sam Konstas controlled the Australia innings. They were in choppy waters at 87 for 5 before an 89-run stand between Konstas and Raf MacMillan bailed them out.

Seamer Charlie Anderson then removed West Indies captain Stephan Pascal and Joshua Dorne before the game was abandoned. A win for West Indies would have sealed their semi-finals berth.

Maphaka bags six as South Africa thump Sri Lanka

West Indies’ loss was South Africa’s gain as they beat Sri Lanka by 119 runs in Potchefstroom to seal their semi-final berth alongside Australia from Group 2.

Having been put in, South Africa started strongly, and were cruising at 103 for 1 before they collapsed to lose five wickets for 30 runs. Opener Lhuan-dre Pretorius top-scored with 71.

South Africa looked like ending with far less than the 232 for 8 they eventually managed but were given a late lift by Riley Norton who made an unbeaten 41.

Sri Lanka got off to a poor start, reduced for 13 for 3 as fast bowler Kwena Maphaka breathed fire in a lively opening spell. Sri Lanka couldn’t quite recover as they eventually stumbled to 113 all out in 23.2 overs.

Maphaka finished with figures of 6 for 21, while Norton capped off a memorable day with a four-for that won him the Player-of-the-Match award.

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