England, Bangladesh enter Super League

Liam Banks and Will Jacks slammed fine centuries as England completed a massive 282 runs victory over Canada in a Group C match on Saturday (January 20), a result that ensured Bangladesh also qualified for the Super League at the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup.

England completed the league with three wins to top the group while Bangladesh qualified as the second team after their wins over Canada and Namibia, who will figure in the Plate championship which gets underway on Monday (January 22).

In other matches on Saturday, New Zealand defeated South Africa by 71 runs to top Group A, in which the Windies won their first match as they drubbed Kenya by 222 runs, while Ireland pulled off a thrilling four-run victory to deny Afghanistan a top-place finish in group D.

England v Canada

England, champions in 1998, were virtually assured of topping the group before this match owing to their high net run-rate but did not show any complacency against Canada, notching a huge 383 for seven after being invited to bat first.

Centuries from Liam Banks (120, 114b, 12×4, 1×6) and Will Jacks (102, 82b, 11×4), who added 186 runs for the second wicket in just over 30 overs, put them in a position of strength. Left-hander Jack Davies also chipped in with a brisk 36-ball 57 while medium-fast bowler Faisal Jamkhandi and off-spinner Tiaan Pretorius took three wickets each for Canada.

Canada, who needed to get to the target in 37.5 overs if they were to edge out Bangladesh for a place in the Super League, barely touched the three-figure mark as left-arm spinner Prem Sisodiya grabbed three for 23 while Adam Finch, Luke Hollman and Roman Walker all finished with two wickets each. Wicketkeeper-batsman Pranav Sharma top-scored for Canada with 24.

England play Australia in the Super League quarter-finals while Bangladesh take on India.

Liam Banks, who was later declared player of the match, said: “I was a bit nervous but also looking forward to it (the match). We got a good understanding between us (with Jacks), we were talking through, trying to get the best out of it. We (as a team) are in a good place, we could pick anyone from the 15 and challenge anyone in the tournament.”

New Zealand v South Africa

New Zealand elected to bat in a match being played in front of broadcast cameras in Tauranga. Openers Rachin Ravindra (76) and Jakob Bhula (44) produced another century partnership after having put on a mammoth 245-run stand against Kenya in their last game, as the hosts posted a total of 279 for eight. Dale Philips (43) and Max Chu (35) also chipped in with useful efforts.

South Africa lost some early wickets but a 106-run stand for the fifth wicket between Hermann Rolfes (108) and Jean du Plessis (54) raised hopes. However, the 2014 champions lost their last six wickets for 26 runs in the face of a high asking rate. Ravindra grabbed four for 32 with his left-arm spin to bag the player of the match award.

In the Super League quarter-finals, New Zealand play Afghanistan while South Africa will run into two-time champions Pakistan.

Afghanistan v Ireland

Afghanistan put Ireland in to bat and restricted them to 225 for eight in their Group D match. Medium-fast bowler Wafadar Momand grabbed three for 50 and left-arm spinner Qais Ahmed took three for 32 even as left-hander Graham Kennedy (37 not out), captain Harry Tector (36), Neil Rock (35) and opener Jamie Grassi (32) were the main scorers for Ireland.

However, Afghanistan’s batting failed to chase the total as Tector came back to take three wickets with his off-spin bowling and Joshua Little took two wickets. Afghanistan lost wickets at regular intervals and the fall of Mujeeb Zadran and Qais Ahmad towards the end sealed the match for Ireland.

Afghanistan, who had defeated Pakistan by five wickets on the opening day in what was the crunch match of the group thus finished in second place owing to Pakistan’s higher net run rate.

Windies v Kenya

Defending champions Windies registered a 222 runs victory over Kenya to secure third position in Group A, scoring a huge 318 for seven after electing to bat. Alick Athanaze struck a fine 116 (93b, 15×4, 1×6) and Kimani Melins came up with a 45-ball 60.

The Windies, who went out of contention for the Super League after losses to New Zealand and South Africa, then bowled out the Africa qualifier for a mere 96 runs with Bhaskar Yadram grabbing five for 18 and Jeavor Royal finishing with four for 25.

The first Super League quarter-final will be played between England and Australia in Queenstown on January 23. It will be followed by last-eight matches between Pakistan and South Africa on January 24 and Afghanistan and New Zealand on January 25 (both in Christchurch), while the India-Bangladesh quarter-final will be played on January 26 when the action will move back to Queenstown.

As per the event format, the winners of the England-Australia quarter-final will play the winners of the Afghanistan-New Zealand match in the first semi-final on January 29, while the winners of the Pakistan-South Africa match will take on the winners of the India-Bangladesh match in the second semi-final on January 30. Both the semi-finals will be played at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch while the final is slated for February 3 at the Bay Oval in Tauranga.

Quarter-final fixtures:

Super League:

23 January: England v Australia, John Davies Oval, Queenstown

24 January: Pakistan v South Africa, Hagley Oval, Christchurch

25 January: Afghanistan v New Zealand, Hagley Oval, Christchurch

26 January: India v Bangladesh, John Davies Oval, Queenstown

Plate League:

22 January: Canada v Papua New Guinea, Lincoln 3, Christchurch

22 January: Namibia v Zimbabwe, Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Christchurch

23 January: Kenya v Sri Lanka, Lincoln 3, Christchurch

23 January: Ireland v Windies, Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Christchurch

*The draw for the Super League semi-finals has been amended by the event technical committee to ensure that teams who were in the same group do not run into each other in the semi-finals.

Scores in brief:

Group A

New Zealand v South Africa, Bay Oval, Tauranga

New Zealand 279-8 in 50 overs (Rachin Ravindra 76, Jacob Bhula 44, Dale Philips 43, Max Chu 35; Kgaudise Molefe 2-49)

South Africa 208 all out in 46.2 overs (Hermann Rolfes 108, Jean du Plessis 54; Rachin Ravindra 4-32, Jakob Bhula 2-25, Matthew Fisher 2-36)

Player of the match: Rachin Ravindra (New Zealand)

Windies beat Kenya by 222 runs, Lincoln 3, Christchurch

Windies 318-7 in 50 overs (Alick Athanaze 116, Kimani Melius 60, Kirstan Kallicharan 36; Aveet Desai 3-54)

Kenya 96 all out in 24.4 Overs (Aman Gandhi 37; Bhaskar Yadram 5-18, Jeavor Royal 4-25)

Player of the match: Alick Athanaze (Windies)

Group C

England beat Canada by 282 runs, John Davies Oval, Queenstown

England 383-7 in 50 overs (Liam Banks 120, Will Jacks 102, Jack Davis 57; Faisal Jamkhandi 3-68, Tiaan Pretorius 3-69)

Canada 101 all out, 31.5 overs (Pranav Sharma 24; Prem Sisodiya 3-23, Adam Finch 2-10, Luke Hollman 2-21, Roman Walker 2-25)

Player of the match: Liam Banks (England)

Group D

Ireland beat Afghanistan by four runs, Cobham Oval, Whangarei

Ireland 225-8 in 50 overs (Graham Kennedy 37 not out, Herry Trecgor 36, Neil Rock 35, Jamie Grassi 32; Qais Ahmed 3-32, Wafadar Momand 3-50).

Afghanistan 221 all out in 49.2 overs (Bahir Shah 35, Tariq Stanikzai 33, Harry Tector 3-37, Joshua Little 2-40)

Player of the match: Harry Tector (Ireland)

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