ISLAMABAD:-Pakistan edged out Afghanistan to join England in the Super League quarter-finals as defending champions Bangladesh bounced back from defeat against the Young Lions with victory over Canada.
England captain Tom Prest continued his wonderful form with the bat, making an unbeaten 154 to help his side defeat the UAE, who now face a crunch game against Bangladesh to decide who will join Prest’s men in the quarter-finals from Group A.
Afghanistan are in a similar position after leaving themselves too much to do in pursuit of 240 to beat Pakistan and must beat Zimbabwe on Saturday to progress in the top two from Group C.
Prest goes big as England win again
England captain Tom Prest’s magnificent 154 not out helped propel his side to a comfortable 189-run win over the UAE.
Prest won the toss and chose to bat at Warner Park and after coming in at No.3 the Hampshire batter blasted 13 fours and four sixes in just 119 balls as his side posted an imposing 362 for six.
Only Dan Lawrence has made a higher individual total for the England Under-19s but Prest had to wait until the 12th over to get out to the middle as George Thomas (42) and Jacob Bethell (62) shared an opening stand of 69.
Prest had shown his form with 93 in the win over Canada last time out but he was not to be denied another century as he dominated the UAE’s attack from the off and shared half-century partnerships with Bethell and then James Rew (24).
When William Luxton, 47 off 45 balls, joined him at the crease, England were 182 for three in the 31st over but together they added 117 runs in just 92 balls.
England climbed well past the 300-mark for the second game in succession despite the best efforts of Jash Giyanani who was the pick of the bowlers with two for 60 from his ten overs.
The Young Lions’ total always looked like it would be a big ask to overhaul and the UAE were reeling when they were reduced to 61 for five in the 15th over, seamer Josh Boyden taking two wickets to take his tournament tally to ten.
Ali Naseer’s counter-attacking 54 off 44 balls helped reverse some of the momentum as he put on 59 with Nilansh Keswani for the sixth wicket.
But when Nilansh departed, the last four wickets fell for 53 runs as leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed excelled on his first outing in the West Indies with four for 30 from his allotted ten overs.
England dismissed the UAE for 173 to confirm their place as Group A winners as they progress to the Super League quarter-finals with their 100 per cent record intact.
Reigning champions Bangladesh bounce back against Canada
The 2020 ICC Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup winners Bangladesh bounced back from defeat to England in their opener with a dominant eight-wicket triumph over Canada.
The holders were skittled for 97 against the Young Lions in their opener but were put into the field by Canada at Conaree Sports Club in St Kitts and Nevis.
They fared better with the ball, however, as Canadian opener and wicket-keeper Anoop Chima made a patient 63 off 117 balls but found precious little support from his teammates.
The other nine batters contributed just 58 runs between them as they were bowled out for only 136, despite Bangladesh bowling 15 wides in 44.3 overs.
Ripon Mondol starred with the ball taking four for 24 in 8.3 overs, including the prize scalp of Chima who he had caught behind.
Ripon’s seam was complemented brilliantly by SM Meherob’s off-breaks as he took four for 38 in ten overs with medium pacer Ashiqur Zaman also chipping in with two wickets.
In reply, Canada struck early as Parmveer Kharoud trapped Mahfijul Islam lbw for just 12 but Iftakher Hossain anchored the chase with a well-made 61 off 89 balls.
Prantik Nawrose Nabil chipped in with 33 while Aich Mollah, 20 not out from 26 balls, sealed victory in style with a six off Gurnek Johal Singh as Bangladesh won with 119 balls to spare.
The reigning champions will now face a straight shoot-out against the UAE on Saturday to see who will join England in the Super League quarter-finals.
Pakistan qualify for quarter-finals as Afghanistan leave it too late
Pakistan booked their place in the Super League quarter-finals after making it two wins from two with a 24-run victory over Afghanistan.
At the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad, Pakistan skipper Qasim Akram elected to bat first and his side built a solid platform.
Opener Mohammad Shehzad lost his partner Haseebullah Khan for just two but kicked on to make 43 off 51 balls.
Shehzad shared a 60 partnership with No.3 Abdul Faseeh who made 68 off 95 balls with the skipper Qasim adding 38 from No.5.
But when Izharulhaq Naveed, three for 41, removed Faseeh, Pakistan lost three for 11 and were in danger of not having enough runs to defend at 184 for seven.
But Maaz Sadaqat played a gem of an innings with 42 not out off just 37 balls, including seven fours, to drag his side up to 239 for nine from their 50 overs.
Afghanistan got the pace of their innings all wrong in reply, as the top three soaked up far too many balls in pursuit of the target.
It took them 170 balls to bring up 100 runs with Bilal Sayedi, 42 off 81, Nangeyalia Kharote, 12 off 32, and Allah Noor, 28 off 49, all with strike rates under 58.
Despite the slow start, Afghanistan took the contest deep although their innings was characterised by some wild running between the wickets, with three run outs as well as a number of near misses.
Noor Ahmad blasted three sixes to leave his side in with a chance of a shock victory, needing 28 off the last two overs with two wickets in hand.
But when he fell for 29 off just 18 balls to Awais Ali, the pick of the bowlers with three for 36, there was only going to be one winner and after finishing short on 215 for nine, Afghanistan now must prepare for a winner-takes-all clash against Zimbabwe on Saturday.