South Africa qualified for the quarter-finals of the 2012 Under-19 World Cup with a four-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Brisbane. They had reduced the Sri Lankans to 49 for six and 73 for eight after asking them to bat as opening bowler Corne Dry took four for 16. Dry removed the dangerous Sebastian Perera with the first ball of the match, while his fellow opening bowler Solo Nqweni dispensed with the other opener, Pabasara Waduge, in his third over. Dry then completed his opening burst by having wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella caught by Prenelan Subrayen.
19 year-old Calvin Savage picked up two middle-order wickets, before Dry returned to break a promising seventh-wicket stand between Tharindu Kaushal and Lahiru Madushanka. Number nine Pulina Tharanga struck an unbeaten 50 off only 60 balls and added 52 for the last wicket with Amila Aponso to take Sri Lanka into three figures. Aponso was last man out in the 38th over for 11 with the score on 150.
In their reply, South Africa lost talisman Quinton de Kock and Shaylin Pillay inside the first five overs, but Chad Bowes and Theunis de Bruyn effected a recovery with a third-wicket partnership of 80. They both fell to Kaushal, however, who also collected another wicket – that of Diego Rosier for 13 – but South Africa eventually got home in the 33rd over with four wickets in hand.
Nepal made a valiant effort at chasing down Ireland’s mediocre total of 185 for eight in Townsville, only to fall short by 14 runs. George Dockrell was a familiar hero for Ireland as he continued his stellar tournament by picking up four important wickets at a cost of just 22 runs. Andy McBrine (41 off 79 balls) and Shane Getkate (47 off 81) had been the chief contributors with the bat for the Irish, sharing a fourth-wicket stand of 71 to help them fight back from 35 for three.
Afghanistan continued to live up to their billing as one of the favourites for the plate competition by having the better of fellow qualifiers Scotland in Buderim. Skipper and opener Javed Ahmadi led his side’s frail batting line-up to 191 with a mature 71 off 76 balls, while wicket-keeper Afsar Khan continued to show promise by making 44 from number eight. Scotland opener Ross McLean also hit a half-century, but Sayed Shirzad, who almost dismayed New Zealand yesterday, took three for 33 and they were all out for 181 in the final over.
There are five games tomorrow as the group stage draws to its conclusion. The pick of them is probably New Zealand’s match against Pakistan in Buderim, but any one of Namibia, Papua New Guinea, Nepal or Zimbabwe will be hoping to score the first upset of the tournament against either Bangladesh, India, England or West Indies.
© Cricket World 2012