Defending champions Australia sealed in a place in the Super League quarter-final of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup after registering a six-wicket victory over Ireland in Group A at in Townsville here, on Monday.
Australia bowlers Alex Gregory (three for 13), Shane Cassell (three for 24) and Gurinder Sandhu (two for 35) shared the wickets as Ireland was skittled out for 129 in 42.5 overs after electing to bat first. In turn, captain Will Bosisto (36 not out) and Sam Hain (26 not out) put on 59 runs for the unbroken fifth wicket partnership as Australia achieved the target with just under 10 overs to spare.
It was Australia’s third successive victory, which meant it is assured of a place in the last eight stage of the tournament which will be played in Townsville and will start on 19 August. The top two sides from all the four groups qualify for the Super League quarter-finals while the bottom two sides complete in the Plate Championship.
The winner of Thursday’s match between England and Nepal, which will be played at Tony Ireland Stadium, will confirm which other side joins Australia from Group A in the quarter-final stage.
Also reaching the Super League quarter-final stage were Pakistan and New Zealand from Group B. New Zealand defeated Afghanistan by a narrow eight-run margin which meant Pakistan and New Zealand went through from their group. However, Thursday’s match between New Zealand and Pakistan will confirm which side tops the group and which finishes second.
In another match, South Africa’s Quinton de Kock (126) and Chad Bowes (115) smashed entertaining centuries to inspire their side to a thumping 209 runs victory over Namibia at John Blanck Oval in Brisbane.
Read more: India register first win
New Zealand overcomes a spirited Afghanistan
Qualifier Afghanistan came desperately close to pulling off the first major upset of the tournament but fell just nine runs short of victory after being restricted for 190 for nine while chasing New Zealand’s 198.
At 26 for five, an early finish loomed large for Afghanistan before they mustered a dogged lower order fight back that saw them need 17 runs from the final over. New Zealand’s fast bowler Matthew Quinn, later declared the player of the match, bowled the final over and conceded just eight runs to clinch a tense win for his side.
Quinn finished with figures of four for 26, finishing off the good work that he and new ball partner Jacob Duffy (four for 40) had started at the beginning of the innings.
Afghanistan’s resurgence was based around a pugnacious 69 (91b, 7x4, 2x6) from left-hander Najibullah Zadran and 42 from wicket-keeper Afsar Khan (63b, 3x4)
Earlier, Afghanistan’s left-arm paceman Sayed Shirzad and right-arm quick Yamin Ahmadzai equally shared eight wickets between them as New Zealand was bowled out for 198. Shirzad finished with four for 34 while Ahmadzai bagged four for 35 from 10 overs.
For New Zealand, Robert O’Donnell (69, 102b, 4x4) and Henry Walsh (52, 97b, 2x4,1x6) hit sparking half-centuries.
South Africa’s de Kock and Bower hit centuries
South Africa showed little mercy against their smaller African neighbours Namibia at Peter Burge Oval in Brisbane, winning by a massive 222 runs margin.
Gauteng left-handed opener Quinton de Kock slammed an excellent 126 (106b, 13x4, 3x6) and captain Chad Bowes matched de Knock stroke by stroke while scoring 115 (115b, 11x4) as the two batsmen put on 212 runs for the first wicket which laid the foundation of South Africa’s 359 for nine
South Africa all-rounder Theunis de Bruyn later picked up four wickets for 20 with his off-spinners to dismiss the qualifiers for 137.
Group A: Ireland 129 all out, 42.5 overs (Ryan Hunter 31, Tyrone Kane 21; Alex Gregory 3-13, Shane Cassell 3-24, Gurinder Sandhu 2-35) lost to Australia 133 for four, 40.3 overs (Will Bosisto 36 not out, Sam Hain 26 not out, Travis Head 25); MOM: Shane Cassell.
Group B: New Zealand 198 in 50 overs (Robert O'Donnell 69, Henry Walsh 52; Sayed Shirzad 4-34, Yamin Ahmadzai 4-35) bt Afghanistan 190 for nine in 50 overs (Najibullah Zadran 69, Afsar Khan 42; Matthew Quinn 4-26, Jacob Duffy 4-40); MOM: Matthew Quinn.
Group D: South Africa 359 for six in 50 overs (Quinton de Kock 126, Chad Bowes 115, Gihahn Cloete 36 n.o.; Zhivago Groenewald 3-85, Andre Engelbrecht 2-57) bt Namibia 150 in 46 overs (Pelham Myburgh 37, Zhivago Groenewald 26, Gerhard Erasmus 21; Theunis de Bruyn 4-20); MOM: Quinton de Kock.