England book last eight clash with WI
LINCOLN, New Zealand (CMC):
England secured a quarter-final clash with West Indies in the ICC Under-19 World Cup when they whipped defending champions India by 31 runs in the last Group A preliminary yesterday.
Sent to bat, the England U-19s scored 246 for eight off 50 overs and India U-19s replied with 215 all out off 46.4 overs at Bert Sutcliffe Oval.
The result gave the young England side Group A honours and a Super League quarter-final clash with West Indies on Saturday, while India finished runners-up in the group and will now face Pakistan in their quarter-final match.
Man of the Match Ben Stokes set up England's marvellous victory by smashing a shot-filled hundred after his side had slipped to an unsteady 60 for four in the 19th over.
New Zealand-born Stokes stroked 100 off 88 balls with four fours and six sixes to lead a stirring fightback that set up the challenging target.
Ateeq Javid (42), James Vince (29) and wicketkeeper Michael Bates (27) were England's next highest scorers.
Left-handed Stokes and Javid added a vital 100 runs for the fifth wicket in 21 overs.
"To score a World Cup century in the country I was born is something very special," Stokes said.
For India, left-arm medium pacer Saurabh Netravalkar was the chief wicket-taker, snaring three for 25 off 10 overs.
Stokes completed a fine all-round effort with two for 43 off eight overs to help stifle India's run chase.
Opening bowlers David Payne (3-40) and Nathan Buck (2-53) shared five wickets for England, while Sufiyan Shaikh (45), Manan Sharma (36) and Mayank Agarwal (32) were the chief scorers for India.
England captain Azeem Rafiq praised his team's unified effort but had special praise for Stokes.
"The way Stokesy got out there and hit the ball, it was incredible. He's got a lot of talent and not just with the bat, but also with the ball and in the field," Stokes said.
"The way the lads stuck together was incredible. It was a team effort and I'm absolutely delighted," Rafiq said.
After West Indies play England and Pakistan face India tomorrow, the remaining quarter-finals will be played on Sunday - South Africa against Sri Lanka and hosts New Zealand against Australia.