Australia are through to the semi-finals of the ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup after a comprehensive win over Pakistan, with Teague Wyllie again outstanding with the bat.
Elsewhere in the Plate League, tournament hosts West Indies were stunned by the UAE while Uganda beat Papua New Guinea in a low-scoring thriller.
AUSTRALIA BEAT PAKISTAN BY 119 RUNS
Teague Wyllie is the real deal
Australia have a superstar in the making in opener Teague Wyllie.
The 17-year-old has been one of the stars of the World Cup so far, showcasing his impressive array of shots and an attacking yet controlled temperament. And the Western Australian youngster has no shortage of self-confidence either, making him an all-round package with every chance of making it in the international game.
Wyllie was at his fluent best against Pakistan in Antigua, helping his side get off to a terrific start as he stroked eight fours in an impressive 97-ball 71.
Wyllie’s knock made him the top-scorer in the game and he followed on from his scores of 86* against West Indies and 101* against Scotland in the Group Stage to underline his status as one of the tournament’s star batters.
Australia’s promising tournament trajectory
Australia are having a terrific time in the Caribbean and the dominance of this Super League performance earmarks them as one of the favourites to win the title in a week’s time.
The brilliance of Wyllie at the top of the order has led the way for a talented batting line-up, and with the ball Australia have a strong attack with plenty of variety.
Tom Whitney (2/31) and William Salzmann (3/37) were the stand-out performers on the day, but there’s no obvious weak link for potential semi-final opponents India or Bangladesh to exploit.
Pakistan can take solace from bright future
Defeat in Antigua ends Pakistan’s chances of winning the U19 World Cup, but the format of the tournament means the squad still have two games to come, and whatever happens they will leave the Caribbean with plenty of positives to take from the tournament.
Haseebullah Khan’s excellent 135 against Zimbabwe is the best individual knock from the top order so far, and all of the front-line batters have chipped in at points, which is encouraging for the next generation of Pakistani international cricket.
With the ball, medium-paced Awais Ali has been excellent throughout, while spinner Qasim Akram had Australia in trouble with his 3/40.
UAE BEAT WEST INDIES BY 82 RUNS
UAE all-round talent on show again
One of the features of the UAE’s World Cup has been the number of all-rounders in the squad, and that multi-skilled nature of the team was on full display against the West Indies.
Seven bowlers were used, with five of those in the wickets, but it was with the bat where the value of having so many all-rounders was really felt.
The UAE top five collectively contributed just 22 runs, with number six and below lifting the total up to 224. Aayan Afzal Khan’s 93 was the most eye-catching innings, but Shival Bawa’s 51 from 58 balls was also scintillating at times.
Home side fail to deliver
The tournament hosts have had an underwhelming tournament, and the opportunity to win the Plate League has now slipped away too.
The highest the West Indies can now finish in the tournament is 11th, which would seem below-par for a squad of their quality.
Frustratingly, it looked like this match could have gone in a different direction when Shiva Sankar inspired a terrific start with the ball, taking three early wickets as Pakistan lost four wickets for four runs to leave them reeling on 26/4.
But the West Indies have let teams off the hook throughout the tournament and did so again in Port of Spain, with UAE’s lower order adding 198 further runs to put together a match-winning total.
Only three players made it to double figures in the West Indies reply, and two of those were number eight Nathan Edward (51*) and number eleven Isai Thorne (17), when the game was effectively already lost.
UGANDA PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Cyrus Kakuru brilliance proves the difference
Uganda wicketkeeper Cyrus Kakuru played a blinding knock to save his team in Trinidad and ensure they avoided the ignominy of slipping into the bottom-ranked 15th-place playoff.
The top three had all fallen cheaply when Kakuru strolled to the crease, and his 65 off just 59 balls made up more than half of Uganda’s overall score.
Kakuru hit 11 fours in his excellent knock, and fell late on with the score at 119. Without his effort Uganda would not have been in the game, but his contribution gave the bowlers something to defend, and defend it they did.
Ball dominates bat in Diego Martin
Only five batters across both sides reached double figures on a day when the ball dominated in Diego Martin.
John Kariko was by far the most impressive Papua New Guinea bowler on show, taking 5/19 in nine excellent overs.
And while Kariko’s efforts returned the best figures of the match, the three-man Uganda attack produced collectively brilliant results, with Juma Miyaji (4/29), Joseph Baguma (3/30), Matthew Musinguzi (2/29) all outstanding.
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