By Neto Baptiste
England are into the final of the ICC Under-19 World Cup following a 15 runs victory over Afghanistan in a keenly contested semifinal at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua.
Chasing 231 set by England who had won the toss and opted to bat on an overcast morning, Afghanistan fell short at 215 for nine in 47 overs. The match was reduced to 47 overs following a rain delay during the England innings.
Rehan Ahmed was the star with the ball for England, claiming three wickets in the penultimate over to help swing the game in his team’s favour going into the final over. Ahmed ended that match with figures of four for 41 in six overs.
There were two wickets for Thomas Aspinwall for 37 runs in nine overs.
Allah Noor was best with the bat for Afghanistan, hitting five fours and three sixes on his way to 60 off 87 deliveries. Mohammad Ishaq contributed with 43 while Abdul Hadi and Bilal Ahmad made 37 and 33 runs respectively.
Earlier, Man of the Match George Bell led England’s charge with the bat, hitting 56 not out. He slammed six fours in his 67-ball knock. Alex Horton assisted with 53 not out in 36 deliveries with five fours and one six while George Thomas made a square 50 from 69 balls. He hit four fours and two sixes.
The second semifinal will be contested on Wednesday when Australia face India at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.