ENGLAND OPEN ACCOUNT WITH RUTHLESS DISPLAY
George Hill and Hamidullah Qadri both claimed four wickets apiece as former champions England secured a first win of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup with an eight-wicket triumph over Nigeria at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley.
The 1998 winners, who have endured a disappointing tournament to date in a tough Group B alongside the already qualified West Indies and Australia, delivered a great performance.
Their two star bowlers demolished the African competition debutants for just 58 in 27.5 overs, before Sam Young struck 39 off 33 balls to complete a consolation victory with 234 balls to spare.
Man-of-the-match seamer Hill claimed a brilliant four for 12 in 7.5 overs, while off-break bowler Qadri collected a neat four for 24 in his seven overs.
Hill had a point to prove after being left out of the side for England’s first two games and his performance with the ball certainly achieved just that as he rattled through Nigeria’s batting attack.
Nigeria, themselves searching for a first win at the finals, had won the toss and opted to bat, but only captain Sylvester Okpe (16 off 39 balls) managed to record double figures as their batsmen failed to cope with the superior English bowling.
Opener Young then ensured a relatively straightforward chase for England, which saw them ease to their target in just 11 overs with Tom Clark and Jordan Cox the only two wickets to fall.
The two sides will now move over to the Plate section of the tournament that begins next week.
QUICKFIRE FIFTY HELPS ZIMBABWE GET OFF THE MARK
Tadiwanashe Marumani’s blistering half-century helped Zimbabwe end the first phase of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup positively as they secured their opening win of the finals, beating Scotland by eight wickets at the Witrand Oval in Potchefstroom.
In a match reduced to 42 overs per side on account of the weather, it was the African side who made all the early plays, first through an excellent bowling effort by medium-pacer Sakhumuzi Ndlela, who delivered a return of four for 27 in seven overs.
His numbers helped dismiss the Scots for 140 in 37.2 overs, with only Kess Sajjad (68 off 71 balls) making any meaningful contribution.
Marumani then plundered four sixes and 12 fours in a fine 55-ball assault that took his side to victory with 149 balls to spare.
It was Zimbabwe’s first win of Group C and one that ensured they finish third in the pool below winners Bangladesh and runners-up Pakistan.
After a valiant showing in their previous game when they lost by 38 runs to Pakistan, they were emphatic winners in this game – helped in particular by Marumani and Ndlela.
The latter was hugely impressive with the ball, almost single-handedly reducing Scotland to 18 for four and then 42 for five, before Sajjad and Daniel Cairns (28 of 74 balls) helped them recover slightly to set an underwhelming target.
“Those four wickets early on helped us set the tone from the start,” Zimbabwe captain Dion Myers said. “It’s something we always talk about at training but to see it implemented was really good. We did drop some catches and that’s something we need to work on.”
And underwhelming it proved as Marumani exploded, and after the early loss of Wesley Madhevere (14 off 11 balls), he put on 121 with Milton Shumba (37 not out) to lead their side to victory.
“I think Tadiwanashe was excellent,” added Myers. “We all know his capabilities and he showed everyone what he can do today.”
SRI LANKA TOO STRONG FOR JAPAN
Sri Lanka beat Japan as they raced to a nine-wicket victory in their shortened ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Group A fixture at the North West University Oval, Potchefstroom.
While there was bright sunshine throughout the day, the match could only begin after lunch due to a wet outfield with the match going on to last less than two hours.
Japan were bowled out for 43 in a match reduced to 22 overs per side - a target that the Sri Lankans reached after 8.3 overs for the loss of just one wicket.
None of Japan’s batsmen reached double figures in their 18.3 overs at the crease with Debashish Sahoo's top-scoring with nine for the associate member nation.
For Sri Lanka, bowlers Dilshan Madushanka, Dilum Thilakarathna, Ashian Daniel and Navod Paranavithana all shared in the wickets as they picked up two apiece.
They go through to the Plate stages starting next week alongside Japan, while India and New Zealand both qualify for the Super League.
Sri Lankan captain Nipun Perera said that his charges were aiming for a highest finish possible in this year's edition.
“It was good to win after losing our two matches to India and New Zealand. For us, it is a matter of looking forward to the Plate stages and on improving even more in our next matches,” he said.
Scores in brief
England Under 19s beat Nigeria Under 19s by eight wickets, Diamond Oval, Kimberley
Nigeria 58 all out, 27.5 overs (Sylvester Okpe 16; George Hill 4-12, Hamidullah Qadri 4-24)
England 64-2, 11 overs (Sam Young 39 not out, Tom Clark 11; Rasheed Abolarin 1-11)
Zimbabwe Under 19s beat Scotland Under 19s by eight wickets, Witrand Oval, Potchefstroom (match reduced to 42 overs a side)
Scotland 140 all out, 37.2 overs (Kess Sajjad 68, Daniel Cairns 28; Sakhumuzi Ndlela 4-27)
Zimbabwe 146-2, 17.1 overs (Tadiwanashe Marumani 85, Milton Shumba 37 not out; Jasper Davidson 1-17)
Sri Lanka Under 19s beat Japan Under 19s by nine wickets, North West University Oval, Potchefstroom (match reduced to 22 overs a side)
Japan 43 all out, 18.3 overs (Debashish Sahoo 9; Ashian Daniel 2/11, Navod Paranavithana 2/2)
Sri Lanka 47-1, 8.3 overs (Ravindu Rashantha 19 not out, Mohamed Shamaaz 7 not out; Kento Ota-Dobell 1-15)
South Africa Under 19s beat United Arab Emirates by 23 runs (DLS method) at the Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein
South Africa 299-8, 50 overs (Luke Beaufort 85, Bryce Parsons 84; Aryan Lakra 3-48)
United Arab Emirates 112-3, 23.5 overs (Jonathan Figy 36, Vriitya Aravind 31; Pheko Moletsane 1-14)
ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 Fixtures
Plate Quarter Final 1: 27 January: Sri Lanka v Nigeria – Ibbies Oval, Potchefstroom
Plate Quarter Final 2: 27 January: England v Japan – Witrand Oval, Potchefstroom
Super League Quarter Final 1: 28 January: India v Australia – JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom
Plate Quarter Final 3: 28 January: Zimbabwe v Canada – Ibbies Oval, Potchefstroom
Plate Quarter Final 4: 28 January: United Arab Emirates v Scotland – Witrand Oval, Potchefstroom
Super League Quarter Final 2: 29 January: West Indies v New Zealand – Willowmoore Park, Benoni
Super League Quarter Final 3: 30 January: Bangladesh v South Africa – JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom
Super League Quarter Final 4: 31 January: Afghanistan v Pakistan – Willowmoore Park, Benoni