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Kiwis play India in U-19 World Cup semis


Kuala Lumpur : New Zealand and Pakistan completed the semi-final line-up for the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup with comprehensive wins over Sri Lanka and Australia respectively Monday.

New Zealand produced a classy performance against Sri Lanka to qualify for the semi-finals, where they meet India in the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup. The junior Black Caps beat Sri Lanka by 80 runs in their Super League game of the day at Royal Selangor Club, Kuala Lumpur.

Batting first, New Zealand made 213 thanks to George Worker (48), Fraser Colson (39) and captain Kane Williamson (34) as Sri Lanka bowled well to contain them. But New Zealand opening bowler Tim Southee put the ball in the right area as he has done throughout the tournament, and the Sri Lanka batsmen were unable to deal with him.

Southee, who has already played ODIs for the senior New Zealand team, removed the top three batsmen as Sri Lanka slumped to 44 for four, a position from which they never really recovered.

In the end, Sri Lanka – the host from two years ago – fell 81 runs short of victory.

New Zealand will face India in the first semi-final on Wednesday.

Defending champions Pakistan continued their smooth passage with a six-wicket victory over Australia at Kinrara Oval on Monday. They will now meet South Africa on Friday.

Having won the toss and choosing to field, captain Imad Wasim’s men took no time to get into their stride with Adil Raza immediately making a double strike, removing both Australia openers with just one run on the board.

From that moment onwards, Australia never looked like winning the match as Pakistan’s seam attack of Raza and Azhar Attari laid a great foundation for spinners Imad and Umer Akmal to push home the advantage.

Only James Pattinson (34 not out) looked comfortable in conditions more suited to the slower, lower wickets of Pakistan than the bouncier, flatter tracks of Australia. In the end, the team was all out for 129, significantly short of where captain Michael Hill would have wanted, especially given that he said afterwards he would have batted anyway had he won the toss.

But like most Aussie teams, this one was not in the mood to roll over just because it had been bowled out for a low score. Jeremy Smith and Josh Hazlewood took early wickets as Pakistan stuttered to 32-3 and at that stage, the Australians’ tails were up. But Ahmad Shahzad (40) and, in particular, man of the match Ali Asad (63 not out) took the game to Australia’s bowlers and were not afraid to play shots despite the high-pressure circumstances.

Shahzad was eventually out just before the end and Pakistan eased to victory with six wickets and 12.1 overs to spare.

In the Plate competition’s quarter-finals, Ireland lost by seven wickets to the West Indies, while in another match at Johor Cricket Academy, Papua New Guinea easily rose to the challenge of Bermuda, in the battle of the qualifiers.

Scores in brief:
Super League Quarter-Final 3
At Royal Selangor Club, New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 80 runs
New Zealand 213 all out, 49.5 overs (George Worker 48, Fraser Colson 39, Kane Williamson 34; Umesh Karunarathna 3-38, Roshane Silva 3-39)
Sri Lanka 133 all out, 42.1 overs (Sachith Pathirana 42; Nick Beard 3-15, Tim Southee 3-25, Anurag Verma 2-22)

Super League Quarter-Final 4
At Kinrara Oval, Pakistan beat Australia by six wickets
Australia 127, 47.1 overs (James Pattinson 34; Adil Raza 3-26, Umar Akmal 2-20, Imad Wasim 2-21, Azhar Attari 2-23)
Pakistan 130 for 4 (Ahmad Shahzad 40, Ali Asad 63 not out; Josh Hazlewood 2-28)

Plate Championship Quarter-Final 3
At MPTI, Johor, West Indies beat Ireland by seven wickets
Ireland 154-9, 50 overs (James Hall 45; Steven Jacobs, Delorn Johnson 3-29)
West Indies 158-3, 23.1 overs (Kieran Powell 50, Steven Jacobs 40 not out, Kyle Corbin 33, Darren Bravo 30 not out; Greg Thompson 2-51)

Plate Championship Quarter-Final 4
At Johor Cricket Academy, PNG beat Bermuda by seven wickets
Bermuda 102 all out, 34.2 overs (Joel Tom 3-26, Jacob Mado 2-12)
PNG 108-3, 18.4 overs, 18.4 overs (Tony Ura 76 not out)