Australia won a hard-fought match against South Africa to reach the final of the Under-19 World Cup in Townsville. They restricted South Africa to just 191 for eight after asking them to bat as opening bowlers Joel Paris and Mark Steketee each took an early wicket. Proteas captain Chad Bowes and Murray Coetzee added 88 for the fourth-wicket, but Bowes became Steketee’s second victim when on 46, and, in spite of useful contributions from Calvin Savage (a 15 off 20 balls) and Prenelan Subrayen (30 not out off 39) they were unable to reach 200.
South Africa’s opening bowlers also each struck early in the Australian run chase, removing Jimmy Peirson and Meyrick Buchanan for ducks, but opener Cameron Bancroft made a steady 66 off 133 balls and added 95 for the third wicket with Kurtis Patterson (49 off 71 balls) and 75 for the fifth-wicket with Will Bosisto (40 off 67) as the home side triumphed by four wickets in the penultimate over.
Man of the Match Bancroft said, “I think it was a tough wicket to score on, it was one of those wickets where you had to bat for a long period of time. If you set yourself in those first nine overs early on it makes things a lot easier later on.
“I am really proud of myself, it would have been nice to be not out at the end but it doesn’t always happen and I am just rapt that we are going to be playing on Sunday.”
Elsewhere, there were wins for England, Afghanistan, Nepal and Papua New Guinea.
England won the fifth place play-off semi-final against Bangladesh by four wickets, in spite of a century from Bangladesh opener Liton Das. He shared a second-wicket partnership of 113 with his captain Anamul Haque (56 off 80 ball), before England fought back through the excellent Reece Topley, who ended with figures of five for 32 from his 10 overs.
Daniel Bell-Drummond again fell early in the England reply, but five batsmen passed 25 and they got home relatively comfortably in the 49th over.
Afghanistan stayed on course for a ninth-place finish in the 16-team event thanks to a century from captain Javed Ahmadi, which helped them amass an impressive 336 for seven from their 50 overs against Scotland. Najibullah Zadran was the other Afghan batsman to pass 50 – making 83 off only 51 balls and sharing an explosive sixth-wicket stand of 101 from 55 deliveries with wicket-keeper Afsar Khan (42 off 29 balls). No Scotland batsman got past opener Mathew Cross’ 37 in the run chase and they were all out for 210 in the 40th over, with Aftab Alma finishing with three wickets.
Nepal won their 13th place play-off semi-final against Namibia in Brisbane. Number six Pradeep Airee hit 98 off only 76 balls to help them make 219 for seven – a total which proved to be more than enough thanks to a haul of five for 21 from Bhuvan Karki and in spite of half-centuries from Stephan Baard and Zhivago Groenewald. Namibia were all out for 180 in the 47th over to lose by 39 runs.
Zimbabwe’s disappointing tournament continued as they slumped to 12-run defeat at the hands of Papua New Guinea in Brisbane. Lega Siaka and Charles Amini both hit half-centuries in Papua New Guinea’s total of 235, and, despite a 108-run opening partnership between Kieran Geyle and Luke Masasire, Zimbabwe fell short and were all out for 223 in the final over.
Tomorrow there are just two matches scheduled, with Pakistan taking on the West Indies in the other fifth place play-off semi-final and Ireland and Sri Lanka taking part in the other ninth place play-off semi-final.
© Cricket World 2012
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