Australia has stormed into the final of the under 19’s World Cup with a comprehensive victory over Afghanistan.
Having to chase 181 thanks to Jonathon Merlo’s bowling figures of 4-24 from his 10 overs, Jack Edwards helped make light work of the total, blasting 72 runs of 65 balls.
With Afghanistan failing to put together partnerships throughout the innings, No.3 Ikram Ali Khil saved Afghanistan from a dismal total, as he was able to top score with 80 from 119 balls.
With Australia losing their previous meeting with the Asian Cup champions, they begun nervously, sending down a couple wides to begin the innings.
After Edwards picked up the first wicket, Merlo was able to take the next four. With the middle order only contributing 18 runs, Afghanistan failed to recover.
With the dismissal of the dangerous Azmatullah (1) and Ali Khil (80) in the 41st over, some late hitting from the tail meant Afghanistan was able to post a poor yet defendable 181.
After losing an early wicket, Australia was able to do what Afghanistan couldn’t, form a solid partnership. A 77-run partnership between Edwards and Sangha ensured the run chase was made a lot easier.
After Edwards was put down early in the innings, he made the Afghans pay. After the captain Sangha fell (26), four-wicket allrounder Merlo added a quickfire 17 before he was dismissed. When Edwards fell for 77, Uppal (32*) and McSweeney (22*) added the finishing touches to a run chase that was accounted for with more than 12 overs to spare.
The semi-final loss for Afghanistan has ended a dream run for the Afghan’s, who were able to reach their first semi-final in any global cricket tournament, with their highlight of the tournament came when they smashed New Zealand by 202 runs. For Australia they are hoping to replicate the 2010 success they were able to achieve.
Australia will meet the winner of the second semi-final, being played between India and Pakistan of January 30th.