Rehan Ahmed and Jacob Bethell lead England to the semi-finals of the ICC U-19 Men’s World Cup in 2022

England became the first team to qualify for the ICC U-19 Men’s World Cup 2022 semi-finals after restricting South Africa U-19 to 209 all out.

England advanced to the semifinals of the ICC U-19 Men’s World Cup 2022 on Thursday with a six-wicket victory over South Africa in North Sound. (Additional Cricket News)

Bethell was one of the bowlers who held South Africa to a total of 209 all out before hitting 88 to help England book a clash with either Sri Lanka or Afghanistan.

ICC U-19 Men's World Cup in 2022
ICC U-19 Men’s World Cup in 2022

South Africa got off to a slow start after winning the toss and electing to bat; their first boundary came off the final ball of the fourth over, before Joshua Boyden dismissed Valentine Kitime with the following delivery.

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Boyden would take his 12th wicket of the tournament, dismissing South Africa’s other opener Ethan-John Cunningham for a duck and reducing the hosts to 21 for two. Brevis and Maree combined to steadie the South African ship, adding 55 runs to the total before Maree was dismissed by Bethell.

Brevis remained a familiar stronghold for South Africa, scoring his fourth fifty-plus score in a row and falling just short of a century on 97. South Africa’s batting collapsed following his dismissal, as three wickets fell for one run as the batters sought boundaries but only found the grateful hands of fielders, with Rehan Ahmed taking four for 48.

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Matthew Boast and Asakhe Tsaka’s final-wicket partnership frustrated England, adding 40 runs as South Africa finished on 209 all out. Bethell came out firing in England’s chase, scoring the fourth quickest half-century in U19 World Cup history, reaching fifty off just 20 balls as the Young Lions batted at over ten an over.

George Thomas was a jubilant spectator at the non-end, striker’s having only reached double figures in the tenth over before smacking a six to bring England’s total to one hundred. South Africa finally struck when Bethell attempted one too many heaves, but not before adding 88 runs in 42 deliveries to establish England as overwhelming favourites.

This label was bolstered by strong partnerships in the top order, before William Luxton came in at five and struck 47 off 41 balls to send England into the semi-finals with a six.

Zimbabwe and the West Indies triumph

Matthew Welch’s 78 helped Zimbabwe set a difficult target of 249 for Scotland in their Plate quarterfinal. Scotland were unable to form partnerships and fell to 140 all out, allowing Zimbabwe to advance to face Ireland.

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They will be joined in the semifinals by hosts West Indies, who cruised to a 169-run victory over Papua New Guinea. The West Indies will now face the United Arab Emirates in the Plate play-offs, while Papua New Guinea will face Uganda.

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