Australia is through to the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup semi-finals after defeating the West Indies by five wickets at Dubai International Cricket Stadium today.
Jake Doran (49*) hit the winning runs as Australia successfully chased down 208 with 20 balls to spare. The win means Australia will take on South Africa on Wednesday, following the other semi-final between England and Pakistan tomorrow, with the winners of each match to meet in the World Cup final.
The Aussie bowling attack put the heat on the Windies from the outset, reducing them to 8/70 at one stage, before wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran (143) mounted a spirited fight-back for his team.
Billy Stanlake (1/16) began as he has all tournament; striking early with the new ball, this time bagging Shimron Hetmyer (1) with a swinging yorker.
Stanlake’s opening bowling partner, Guy Walker, followed up the next over with consecutive wickets and had to wait for his next over to bowl out his hat-trick ball.
While Walker missed out on the hat-trick, the West Indies were sitting on 3/7 as they faced the next onslaught from pace duo James Bazley (1/35) and Ben Ashkenazi (2/37).
Bazley struck first, removing Jeremy Solozano for 10, then the in-form Ashkenazi continued the rampage – Brandon King caught behind for 7 and Ramaal Lewis’ middle stump ripped out for 1.
There was no respite for the West Indians as the introduction of Tom Andrews’ spin reaped rewards. Gudakesh Motie and Bryan Charles both fell to Andrews’ guiles for one run reach as the Windies faced a perilous 8/70 scoreboard.
But Pooran withstood the pressure in a fantastic man of the match innings, putting on a 136-run partnership with Jermone Jones for the ninth wicket. He was eventually bowled by Walker (3/44) as the West Indies were dismissed with one ball to spare.
In reply, openers Jaron Morgan (55) and Matt Short (52) established a solid 107-run platform and both raised their bats for their half-centuries before departing.
Again Doran steered Australia to victory with another controlled effort. Mortimer (12) and Gregory (3) fell around him, but Ben McDermott found some time in the middle before he was caught for 29 with only a handful of runs required.
Doran, who finished last match on 99 not out, hit the winning runs as he fell one run shy of a half-century. James Bazley was the other not out batsman on 0*.
Australia will play South Africa in the semi-final match at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.