Pope’s amazing 8 for 35 guides Australia to semis of U-19 WC

Queenstown : Leg-spinner Lloyd Pope produced a dream spell of 8/35 as Australia defeated England by 31 runs in a dramatic fashion at the John Davies Oval here to march into the Super League semi-finals of the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup.

Lloyd’s bewildering spell of 9.4-2-35-8 turned the game on its head as England were spun out for 96 in 23.4 overs after being 47 for no loss in the eighth over while chasing 128 for victory.

The astonishing effort ensured Australia captain Jason Sangha’s fighting 58 did not go waste for the three-time champions, who now await the winner of Thursday’s quarter- final between New Zealand and Afghanistan to know who they play in the first semi-final on January 29 in Christchurch.

Pope’s spell was the best-ever in the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup to date, bettering his team-mate Jason Ralston’s seven for 15 against Papua New Guinea earlier in a league match.

This performance was also second to former India fast bowler Irfan Pathan’s nine for 16 against Bangladesh at the Gadaffi Stadium in Lahore in 2003 in all U-19 matches to date.

Pope was not the only one to shatter a big record on the 11th day of the tournament. In one of the two plate quarter-finals of the day, Sri Lanka opener Hasitha Boyagoda slammed a stroke-filled 191 to establish a new mark for the highest individual score in U-19s to help his side beat Kenya by 311 runs.

In the other quarter-final, half-centuries by Nyeem Young, Bhaskar Yadram and Emmanuel Stewart helped the West indies overpower Ireland by four wickets.

In the Super League quarterfinal of the day, Australia elected to bat but were bowled out for 127 in 33.3 overs with skipper Sangha waging a valiant battle. Sangha struck seven fours during his 91-ball 58 and was the ninth man out.

 Australia were tottering at 86 for seven when Sangha put on 36 runs for the eighth wicket, the highest partnership of the innings, with Zak Evans (12).

Opener Max Bryant (16) and Nathan McSweeney (10) were the other Australia batsman to reach double-figures.

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