Basseterre [Saint Kitts], January 19 (ANI): South Africa's Dewald Brevis and England's Tom Prest played captain's innings to propel their sides to victory at the ICC Under 19 Men's Cricket World Cup.
Having elected to make first use of the Queen's Park Oval pitch, the young Proteas stuttered and lost openers Ethan-John Cunningham (1) and Valintine Kitime (12) in the powerplay.
That brought Brevis to the crease, with the starlet nicknamed 'Baby AB' hoping to build on his fine 65 in a tournament-opening loss to India. He cracked a pair of back-foot boundaries from the second and third balls he faced and pulled medium pacer Yunusu Sowobi dismissively for six in the 13th over.
Brevis's fast start allowed skipper George Van Heerden to play on the undercard and the pair combined for 74 before the latter pulled a full toss to Fahad Mutagana at 113 for three. Brevis pressed on, scoring heavily behind square on the off side and building a half-century partnership with Kaden Solomon that ended when the keeper-batter was stumped at 166 for four.
Wickets fell around him regularly but with a quick single in the 41st over, Brevis brought up a superb century from 108 balls and lifted his side above 200. The innings petered out somewhat and South Africa lost their last five wickets for 24 runs thanks to seamers Juma Miyagi (3-33) and Pascal Murungi (3-58).
Uganda also found the powerplay overs tough going and left-armer Aphiwe Mnyanda turned the screw early on, castling Ronald Omara in the second over. Mutagana and Isaac Ategeka steadied the ship and got to 33 for one before the former nicked off to Solomon to give Mnyanda another.
That would prove the biggest partnership of the innings as Uganda subsided to 110 all out, losing their last five wickets for 24 runs. Brevis was the undisputed star of the show with bat and ball, also chipping in with 2-18 and bowling Juma Miyai to take the wicket that sealed victory. South Africa finish their Group B campaign against Ireland on Friday while Uganda face group leaders India on Saturday.
England only needed to chase down 98 to win their opening game against Bangladesh but could flex their batting muscles when inserted by Canada at Warner Park.
Jacob Bethell (7) was bowled in the seventh over, bringing together George Thomas and captain Tom Prest who immediately took the game to the Canadian bowling attack. Prest was particularly good at picking length and pealed a pair of fours from the final over of the powerplay, which England ended at 48 for one. He also played an inventive scoop off Gurnek Singh for four behind square and brought up his half-century in 58 balls.
Prest lost Thomas midway through the innings when he played a tentative push and missed, bowled for 52 at 116 for two. He was ably supported by James Rew (33) and when the skipper was trapped in front for a run-a-ball 93, the momentum was maintained by William Luxton and George Bell.
The buccaneering pair struck five sixes between them with Bell responsible for three in an eye-catching 57 from just 35 balls. That took England to 320-7 from 50 overs. England got rid of Canada opener Siddh Lad (5) in the fifth over but were met with firm resistance in the form of a second-wicket stand worth 60.
Keeper-batter Anook Chima made a measured 38 from 65 balls and Yasir Mahmood (25) joined him at the crease for a productive ten overs. Skipper Prest got rid of Mahmood and then four wickets fell for 35 runs as the Canadian run chase floundered.
England were defied by Gurnek Singh, who hit four fours and two sixes, and Ethan Gibson who also played a range of attacking shots in a seventh-wicket stand worth 74. But Josh Boyden took control with the ball and snaffled three of the last four wickets to fall to tear 4-44, his second four-wicket hall in as many games. Canada were only bowled out in the penultimate over, for 214.
Afghanistan, quarter-finals at the last edition of the ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup, made a steady start but were rocked by shedding three wickets in four overs inside the powerplay.
Mohammad Ishaq (21) was brilliantly caught by Peter Karoho, Bilal Sayedi (12) was comprehensively bowled and Allah Noor (2) flicked to a fielder as they sank to 40 for three. The innings hinged on the fourth-wicket stand between captain Suliman Safi and Ijaz Ahmadzai, who took the game away from PNG with a partnership of 105.
They struck a perfect balance between attack and defence and dealt primarily in boundaries, with 44 of Safi's 62 runs coming from fours and Ahmadzai striking seven fours and a six. They were separated by Katenalaki Singi at 145-4 and his superb spell of 4-18 from five overs helped bowl Afghanistan out for 200 in 38.2 overs.
But PNG, appearing at the event for the eighth time, never looked likely to chase it down and it was downhill from the moment that Karoho was bowled on the first ball of the innings.
The Afghan attack all excelled and emerged with remarkable figures, with Naveed Zadran taking 2-9 from five overs and Nangeyalia Kharote 2-5 from three. With No.8 Aue Oru top-scoring with 13, PNG were dismissed for 65 from 20.5 overs. Next up for Afghanistan is rivals Pakistan on Thursday, who PNG then face on Saturday. (ANI)