U19 WC: Big wins for SA, Australia, Bangladesh

Johannesburg, (UNI) South Africa, Bangladesh and Australia were the comfortable victors in their respective games; whereas Afghanistan overcame the USA in their Play-off encounter in the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024.

Bangladesh dominated the proceedings after being asked to bowl. Nepal showed potential but couldn’t match up to the Tigers.

The Rhinos found the going tough against an adept Bangladesh bowling attack. The pacers struck thrice in the first Powerplay before the spinners tangled the Nepal batters around their web in the middle overs to strike regularly and keep the scoring rate in check.

Mohammad Borson and Sheikh Jibon accounted for seven wickets between them to ensure that Bangladesh needed 170 to win.

Jishan Alam’s attacking fifty led Bangladesh’s effort to gain a substantial net run rate advantage by finishing the chase early. However, Subash Bhandari’s triple strike slowed the Tigers at the start of the second Powerplay.

Ariful Islam’s attacking fifty led Bangladesh past the target. Subash managed two more wickets to his name to finish with a five-wicket haul. Borson was the Player of the Match for his 4/19.

A 105-run stand between Harry Dixon and Hugh Weibgen powered the start of Australia’s innings. The following overs were a tussle between Australia’s middle order and England’s spinners led by Theo Wylie. Weibgen’s ton was backed by cameos from Ollie Peake (25* from 28) and Raf MacMillan (19* from 10), as Australia finished strong.

In response, England chose the attacking route early on. This backfired as the accurate Callum Vidler bowled challenging lengths and garnered four English wickets within his first five overs. Lightning stopped play soon after. It gave way to rain, and there was an extended delay.

England needed 215 for a win after the resumption. Faced with a daunting target, England’s chase unraveled as the side lost quick wickets. They were bowled out for 104.

South Africa’s strong batting lineup chased down a modest target in front of them with 219 balls to spare and gave the hosts a massive net run rate boost on the points table.

The young Proteas pacers were right on the money with the ball. Kwena Maphaka ran through the Zimbabwe top-order in his opening spell.

The middle overs saw Tristan Luus and Riley Norton turn the scoreboard from 69/4 to 69/7. Maphaka returned to rattle the tail and secure his second five-wicket haul of the tournament. Ronak Patel (32) and Ryan Kamwemba (24) were the only significant contributors to Chevrons.

South African openers took off in their characteristic aggressive fashion. The side added 86 in the first Powerplay to end hopes of any Chevron comeback. Though Steve Stolk fell along the way, Lhuan-dre Pretorius (53* from 39) helped finish the task in the 14th over.

Afghanistan backed their skipper’s call to take the field with a sharp display with the ball. But USA were up to the task and struck back in the second innings.

A top-drawer effort from Afghanistan meant that the USA batting never took off. Barring Prannav Chettipalayam (33) and Utkarsh Srivastava (30), no other batter made a significant contribution to the North American side. Allah Mohammad Ghazanfar (3/30), Naseer Khan Maroofkhil (2/19) and Faridoon Dawoodzai (2/30) helped bowl out the USA by the 49th over.

Continuing a running theme of the tournament, Afghanistan got off to a poor start with the bat. The side lost four wickets before even reaching the 50 runs mark.

Skipper Naseer Khan Maroofkhil (39) stabilised the innings for Afghanistan but his dismissal at a crucial stage left the game even stevens. A resolute 37* from Rahimullah Zurmati helped Afghanistan close out a chase that went to the final over.

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