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2020 ICC Under-19 World Cup: Australia and South Africa Advance to Semifinals

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<p>South Africa’s convincing 119-run win against Sri Lanka in Potchefstroom made them the first side to qualify for the last four. Riley Norton helped Kwena Maphaka, who was once again the main destroyer, smash the Islanders’ batting lineup.</p>
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<p>Rain disrupted the West Indies vs. Australia match, resulting in a draw between the two sides. Finally, Australia emerged victorious from Group 2, and the incredible tournament for the West Indies concluded in tragic circumstances.</p>
<p>India defeated Nepal with a commanding performance, scoring 132 runs to secure their spot in the knockout rounds. With a century each, Uday Saharan and Sachin Dhas orchestrated the victory, while Saumy Pandey’s four-for wrecked the chase.</p>
<p>Australia vs. West Indies resulted in a draw at Kimberley.</p>
<p>West Indies 24/2 (4.3) vs. Australia 227/8 (50)</p>
<p>Choosing to field first against Australia, West Indies struck first with the ball. Australian openers Harry Dixon and Harjas Singh got off to a good start within the Powerplay but were dismissed in consecutive overs.</p>
<p>Dixon was first removed by Nathan Edward after he guided a simple catch to Joshua Dorne at midwicket. Shortly after, when Isai Thorne squared up to Harjas, Dorne once again shown his skill in the field by making a nice, low catch at slip.</p>
<p>A 39-run stand between Sam Konstas and Hugh Weibgen helped to steady the ship, but the skipper was unable to repeat his valiant efforts from the previous game. Tarrique Edward, positioned at point, showed lightning-fast reactions to break up the promising tandem with a brilliant grab.</p>
<p>The spinners were soon on the attack, led by Nathan Sealy, who got Oliver Peake to edge outside for a duck. Lachlan Aitken was then withdrawn by Tarrique Edward, adding to Australia’s problems as they were already in a precarious situation after losing half of their team with just 87 runs scored.</p>
<p>Sam Konstas answered with a barrage of forceful drives while wickets kept falling at the other end, and he soon achieved his half-century off 73 balls. Raf MacMillan was a vital source of assistance, constantly finding boundaries to relieve the mounting strain that the West Indies’ methodical bowling was applying.</p>
<p>Stephan Pascal’s amazing diving grab at backward point brought an abrupt end to the partnership just as the two were preparing for a late blitz in the dying overs. Unfazed, Konstas surged, hitting three straight boundaries off of Raneico Smith, and in the 48th over, he earned a well-earned century.</p>
<p>Despite falling to Nathan Edward in the last over, Konstas was instrumental in saving Australia, leading them to a respectable 227/8.</p>
<p>Rain stopped play in the second innings before more than five overs could be completed. Stephan Pascal opened the innings with two boundaries off the first two balls despite the little movement, but Charlie Anderson got the last laugh by grabbing a wicket off the penultimate delivery.</p>
<p>Anderson grabbed his second wicket, and Dorne was doomed to a similar end. Due to lightning and rain, play was stopped with the score at 24/2. Sadly, no further play was possible.</p>
<p>Australia, which won Group 2, earned a trip to the semi-finals as a consequence of the two teams sharing points.</p>
<p>Hugh Weibgen, the captain of Australia, was full of appreciation for his hitters, who saved the team from certain disaster.</p>
<p>“We fully trusted the individuals that were arriving. Sam [Konstas] batted really well, obviously. All they had to do was establish temporary alliances, which they accomplished and raise our score to a level that was competitive.</p>
<p>In Potchefstroom, South Africa defeated Sri Lanka by 119 wickets.</p>
<p>232/8 (50) South Africa against. 113 (23.2) Sri Lanka</p>
<p>Sri Lanka chose to bat first, but the South African openers once again created a strong foundation by combining for a quick-fire partnership of 63 runs. With two fours in the first over, Lhuan-dre Pretorius got things going.</p>
<p>Unlike in previous games, Steve Stolk was a supporting player while Pretorius took the lead versus Sri Lanka. With back-to-back boundaries in the ninth over, Stolk finally gained control of the game, but he was caught in the deep while trying an inside-out shot over long off.</p>
<p>In a flurry of action that saw both batsmen at the same end, David Teeger was run out just as South Africa was starting to recover from the wicket.</p>
<p>Once Supun Waduge’s first over yielded two wickets, South Africa’s batting started to unravel and they continued to drop. Unfortunately, Richard Seletswane’s shot went straight down the ground, flicking the ball off the bowler’s fingertips and into the stumps with Pretorius short of his ground. This resulted in Pretorius being run out at the non-striker’s end.</p>
<p>The spin got the better of Seletswane on the following delivery, as he could only manage a straight shot back into Waduge’s hands for an easy return catch. Further to their problems, the Proteas lost Juan James and Dewan Marais in successive overs, and soon they were in serious difficulty.</p>
<p>With a cool partnership of 49 runs, Romashan Pillay and Riley Norton were instrumental in bringing South Africa back into the contest. Even though they were not scoring as many boundaries, the pair still managed to rotate the strike and keep the scoreboard moving.</p>
<p>South Africa was struggling at 133/6, but players like Tristan Luus and Nqobani Mokoena gave them a boost and they ended up with a decent score of 232/8.</p>
<p>The dangerous Kwena Maphaka, whose blistering speed wreaked havoc on the top order, was presented to the Sri Lankan batsmen in reply.</p>
<p>Maphaka took his third five-wicket haul of the competition in a furious seven-over opening stint, making history as the first bowler to do so in the U19 Men’s World Cup. Pulindu Perera was unable to keep up with the pace of the left-arm pacer and was only able to get an outside edge over Pretorius in the opening over.</p>
<p>With the second duck of the innings, Maphaka kept the wicketkeeper busy by claiming Supun Waduge.</p>
<p>Captain Sineth Jayawardena was squared up by Maphaka, who took his third wicket in as many overs. The wicketkeeper was again forced to make a brilliant catch by diving to his left.</p>
<p>With a quick 36 runs off 31 balls, Hirun Kapurubandara and Dinura Kalupahana provided a temporary breather. But, the break was short-lived, as Kapurubandara tried to take on Maphaka but was caught in the deep, ending the partnership.</p>
<p>Maphaka finished his outstanding five-star effort with another well-played short ball. With a spectacular diving catch at mid-wicket, Stolk removed Kalupahana, the second set hitter.</p>
<p>Riley Norton made a significant contribution to the game as well, trapping Vihas Thewmika in front of the stumps to weaken the Sri Lankan side. After taking two wickets in a row, Norton was on a hat-trick, sending Vishwa Lahiru and Sharujan Shanmuganathan back to the pavilion.</p>
<p>With some strong blows, Malsha Tharupathi postponed the inevitable, but Norton ultimately took his fourth wicket. After that, Kwena Maphaka came back on the attack, taking six wickets to conclude the innings and knocking Sri Lanka out for 113.</p>
<p>After receiving Player of the Match once again, Maphaka was pleased and now has his eyes set on the trophy.</p>
<p>“I feel very secure right now, but I know there’s always something to strive for. I am aware that there is more work to be done. It is our goal to win the World Cup.</p>


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