ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup: Afghanistan, New Zealand, South Africa qualify for quarterfinals
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ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup: Afghanistan, New Zealand, South Africa qualify for quarterfinals

Afghanistan, New Zealand and South Africa qualified for the quarterfinals of the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand.

cricket Updated: Jan 17, 2018 20:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup,cricket,Ibrahim Zadran
Ibrahim Zadran top-scored for Afghanistan in their ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup match against Sri Lanka on Wednesday.(ICC/Getty Images)

It should have been an easy task for Afghanistan Under-19 after they notched up a mammoth 284 for 7 against Sri Lanka Under-19. Unfortunately, it rained on Wednesday, turning a relatively easy task into a slugfest. Eventually Afghanistan prevailed by 32 runs on DLS Method at the Cobham Oval in Whangarei, New Zealand and moved into the quarter-finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup.

Thanks to half centuries from Ibrahim Zadran (86 off 112), Ikram Ali Khil (55 off 89) and Darwish Rasooli (63 off 44), Afghanistan looked set for an easy win after rattling Sri Lanka with early wickets, but after rain enforced a revision of the target to 235 off 38 overs, Sri Lanka sensed a chance.

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They resumed at 114/3 in 25 overs, with Kamindu Mendis and Jehan Daniel, but the latter holed within five balls of the restart. Sri Lanka, having been reduced to 11/2 earlier, were steadied by Daniel and Krishan Sanjula with a 76-run stand. Sanjula (41) holed out off Qais Ahmed before the rain-break, and with Daniel (48) walking back as well on resumption, Sri Lanka needed something special from their captain.

Mendis seemed very likely to provide that. With Ashen Bandara for company, Mendis made a good fist of it. The two went after every ball, and connected with a fair few, resulting in boundaries off Mujeeb Zadran, Azmatullah Omarzai, Zahir Khan and Naveen. Zahir was even taken over the fence by Bandara, as 30 quick runs were added for the sixth wicket.

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For a while, it seemed Sri Lanka could hope to sneak this one. However, given Sri Lanka’s enterprise, Afghanistan sensed a wicket every ball, and kept at it. The conditions --- overcast, windy and slippery --- didn’t help matters, but Afghanistan took their chance when it came, and Mendis (32) not getting much behind his pull off Omarzai gave an easy catch at midwicket.

Thereafter, it was a steady slide, with Omarzai scalping Bandara (38) before Naveen dismantled the tail.

SA beat West Indies enter last-8

A controversial ‘obstructing the field’ decision set social media ablaze during the first innings of South Africa’s clash vs West Indies, but there was much else to enjoy besides in a thrilling clash. The dismissal of Jiveshan Pillay was the decision in question, the batsman given out obstructing the field after throwing a motionless ball to West Indies keeper and captain Emmanuel Stewart, who then appealed.

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Some felt the West Indies’ decision to appeal went against ‘the spirit of cricket’, others that while it remained within the rules they were within their rights to appeal. Others still felt that the rule itself needed changing, while another camp argued that if batsmen just stuck to the rules as they are, we wouldn’t have any controversy. To his credit, Stewart came out after the game and said if he could have his time again, he would withdraw his appeal.

But while all the tongue-wagging was going on off-field, there was some highly competitive action taking place on it, the game fluctuating and refusing to commit until the last, when it swung decisively South Africa’s way.

Brief scores:Gr D: Afghanistan U-19 284/7 (Zadran 86, Ikram Ali 55, Rasooli 63) bt Sri Lanka U-19 202 (Daniel 48, Naveen-ul-Haq 4-35) by 32 runs on DLS Method

Gr A: South Africa U-19 282/ 8 (Makwetu 99, Pillay 47, Rolfes 4-33) bt West Indies U-19 206 (Athanaze 76, Kallicharan 44) by 76 runs

Gr A: New Zealand U-19 436/ 4 (Jakob Bhula 180, Ravindra 117, Allen 90) bt Kenya U-19 193/4 (Gandhi 63, Ravindra 2-33) by 243 runs

Gr B: Australia U-19 135/3 (Bryant 44) bt Zimbabwe U-19 134 (Bartlett 3-20) by seven wickets.

First Published: Jan 17, 2018 20:05 IST