Eng beat SA to reach ICC U19 WC semis

Antigua: Jacob Bethel smashed a whirlwind 42 balls 88 runs as former champions cruised to the Super League semifinals of the ICC U19 World Cup with a thumping 6 wickets win over South Africa. The swashbuckling left-hander got off the blocks with such a dominance that he powered England to race past the 210-run target set by South Africa batting first. Bethel almost wiped off half the target in the first powerplay itself, posting the total to 110 in 11th over along with his opening partner George Thomas (19), before he was held out by Ethan John Cunnigham. After his dismissal, the pace of the chase dissipated, but William Luxton 47 off 41 balls changed the gear to ensure that game was sealed with 112 balls remaining. George Bell remained not out at 9 when Luxton finished the required run by hoicking a six off Dewald Brevis. South Africa’s batting lacked the juice on a batting beauty as the day went on. If only someone had batted sensibly alongside Brevis, there could have been a different script to be written. Brevis, popularly known as Baby AB, inked an aggressive knock of 97 off 88 balls. The Proteas had a poor start to their innings, losing two quick wickets when the total was 21 on the scoresheet after seven overs. Brevis and Gerhardus Maree (27) built a 55 runs partnership for the third wicket before Bethel rattled the SA’s wicketkeeper-batsman’s timber. In the company of George Van Heerden, Brevis continued to wallop the ball all around, picking up runs, while the South African captain could manage only seven runs, before he was scalped by spinner Rehan Ahmed. The English spinner struck again, removing Andile Simelane for zero and then cleaning up Michael Copeland for 1 to leave South Africa tottering at 135 for six in 31st over. Mathew Boast and Asakhe Tshaka added 40 runs for the last wicket to take the total to 209 after England lost two quick wickets after Copeland’s wicket. Ahmed ended with figures of 4 for 48, besides Joshua Boyden and James Sales picked two wickets each.

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