|1) Bancroft’s fine half-century earns him player of the match award
2) Topley overshadows centurion Litton as England defeats Bangladesh; Afghanistan, Nepal and PNG score victories in Plate Championship play-offs.
Brisbane, 21 August 2012; Australia took a huge stride in its quest for its fourth ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup title on Tuesday when it became the first side to seal a place in the final, after defeating South Africa by four wickets at the Tony Ireland Stadium.
Before the ESPN STAR Sports’ HD cameras, Australia overcame a late charge by South Africa to achieve its target of 192 with nine balls and four wickets to spare.
The final is scheduled to be played on Sunday 26 August and Australia will now wait for the winner of Thursday’s second semi-final between India and New Zealand to know its opponent. The loser of Thursday’s semi-final will meet South Africa in the third-fourth position play-off on Saturday 25 August.
Australia opener Cameron Bancroft was the star of his side when he scored a fine 66 and featured in a match-winning 95-run third wicket partnership with Kurtis Patterson (46) after the defending champion had slipped to three for two in two overs in its run-chase.
Bancroft, who faced 133 balls and hit five fours and a six during his nearly three-hour vigil at the crease was declared player of the match.
Australia, which is also bidding to become the second side after Pakistan to win back-to-back titles, made a good start to the day when Will Bosisto won an important toss and elected to bowl in overcast conditions in Townsville.
Joel Paris and Mark Steketee both struck early with the new ball to remove South Africa’s in-form Quinton de Kock (one) and Gihahn Cloete (zero).
Steketee returned for his second spell and took the crucial wicket of South Africa captain Chad Bowes (46: 104b, 1x4, 1x6) who had struck up a handy partnership of 88 with Murray Coetzee.
Coetzee (50:76b, 3x4) went on to make his second half-century of the tournament before he was run-out with a direct hit by Ashton Turner.
Gurinder Sandhu maintained a good line and length in the morning, ending with the tidy figures of two for 23 from ten overs, featuring three maidens. Steketee claimed three for 35 from his ten overs.
In reply, Australia lost the early wickets of James Peirson and Meyrick Buchanan to be in strife at two for three.
However, Bancroft and Patterson both soaked up the occasion and repaired the damage before Patterson was caught behind by de Kock for 49 (71b, 7x4).
Bosisto once again showed his class at the crease as he and Bancroft chipped away for a fourth wicket stand of 75 before Bancroft was run out for 66 (133b,5x4, 1x6).
Bosisto looked likely to take Australia through to the win but he was run-out by Theunis de Bruyn for 40 (85b, 2x4) as the home side slipped from 173 for three to 188 for six, before Turner hit a four through extra cover to seal the victory for his side.
Player of the match Bancroft later said: “I think it was a tough wicket to score off. It was one of those wickets where you had to bat for a long period of time. If you set yourself in those first nine overs early on it makes things a lot easier later on.”
“I am really proud of myself, it would have been nice to be not out at the end but it doesn’t always happen. I am just rapt that we are going to be playing on Sunday,” the opener added.
England defeats Bangladesh
A brilliant century by Litton Das, who also featured in a 113-run second wicket stand with captain Amanul Haque, went in vain as England defeated Bangladesh by four wickets at Endeavour Park 2. The victory meant England will play the winner of the Pakistan-West Indies match in the fifth-sixth position play-off on Friday 24 August.
Batting first, Bangladesh was cruising at 122 for one in the 27th over before it choked for the second successive time and finished on 217 for seven, with the last 22 overs producing just 95 runs.
Litton hit nine fours and a six in a 134-ball 102 while Amanul maintained his fine form to score 56 off 80 balls with eight fours. Amanul now has scored 237 runs in five matches and is the third leading run-getter in the tournament.
England’s lanky left-arm fast bowler Reece Topley was the most impressive bowler, with figures of 10-0-32-5.
In turn, even contributions by Ben Foakes (47), Sam Wood (46), Adam Ball (34 not out) and Aneesh Kapil (33 not out) ensured England crossed the finish-line with 10 balls and four wickets to spare.
Topley, who now leads the wicket-takers’ list with 16 wickets, was adjudged player of the match.
Plate Championship play-offs
In the Plate Championship play-offs, Afghanistan scored a massive 126-runs victory over Scotland at the Allan Border Field, Nepal overpowered Namibia by 39 runs, and Papua New Guinea (PNG) upset Zimbabwe by 12 runs.
The feature of these matches was an excellent century by Afghanistan’s Javed Ahmadi (134: 111b, 17x4, 4x6), an equally fine innings by Nepal’s Pradeep Airee (98 not out: 76b, 3x4, 3x6), a match-winning spell by Nepal’s left-arm spinner Bhuvan Karki (7.3-0-21-5) and Charles Amini’s 63, which helped PNG first score 235 and then skittle out Zimbabwe for 223.
Scores in Brief: Super League - Semi-final
Australia beat South Africa by four wickets at Tony Ireland Stadium
South Africa 191 for eight, 50 overs (Murray Coetzee 50, Chad Bowes 46, Prenelan Subrayen 30 not out; Mark Steketee 3-35, Gurinder Sandhu 2-23)
Australia 193 for six, 48.3 overs (Cameron Bancroft 66, Kurtis Patterson 49, Will Bosisto 40; Lizaad Williams 3-40)
Player of the match – Cameron Bancroft (Australia)
England beat Bangladesh by four wickets at Endeavour Park 2
Bangladesh 217 for seven, 50 overs (Litton Das 102, Anamul Haque 56, Salman Hossain 26; Reece Topley 5-32)
England 218 for six, 48.2 overs (Ben Foakes 47, Sam Wood 46, Adam Ball 34 not out, Aneesh Kapil 33 not out; Taskin Ahmed 2-66)
Player of the match – Reece Topley (Eng)
Plate Championship - Play-offs
Afghanistan beat Scotland by 126 runs at Allan Border Field
Afghanistan 336 for seven, 50 overs (Javed Ahmadi 134, Najibullah Zadran 83, Afsar Khan 42, Abdur Mangal 31; Patrick Sadler 3-69, Aman Bailwal 2-81)
Scotland 210 all out, 39.4 overs (Mathew Cross 37, Peter Ross 34; Aftab Alam 3-63, Hashmatullah Shaidi 2-20, Yamin Ahmadzai 2-28, Sayed Shirzad 2-63)
Player of the match – Javed Ahmadi (Afghanistan)
Nepal beat Namibia by 39 runs at Peter Burge Oval
Nepal 219 for seven, 50 overs (Pradeep Airee 98 not out, Subash Khakurel 35; Chris Coombe 3-61, Shalako Groenewald 2-35)
Namibia180 all out, 46.3 overs (Stephan Baard 56, Zhivago Groenewald 54; Bhuvan Karki 5-21)
Player of the match – Bhuvan Karki (Nepal)
Papua New Guinea (PNG) beat Zimbabwe by 12 runs at WEP Harris Oval
PNG 235 all out, 50 overs (Charles Amini 63, Lega Siaka 50, Dogodo Bau 30; Luke Jongwe 3-38, Kieran Geyle 3-44, Peacemore Zimwa 2-30)
Zimbabwe 223 all out, 49.1 overs (Luke Masasire 68, Kieran Geyle 42, Nyasha Mayavo 36; Kabua Vagi Morea 3-26, Chris Kent 2-26, Alei Nao 2-55)
Player of the match – Charles Amini (PNG)
Super League (Second play-off semi-final)
Pakistan v West Indies, Endeavour Park 2, Townsville
Plate Championship (13th-14th position play-off)
Ireland v Sri Lanka, Allan Border Field, Brisbane. (By; ICC MEDIA RELEASE)