Christchurch: Australia produced an all-round performance with the bat and ball to register a 6-wicket victory over Afghanistan in the semi-final contest at the Hagley Oval here on Monday and enter the U-19 World Cup Super League final.
Electing to bat, Afghanistan rode on a half-century knock from their top order batsman Ikram Ali Khil (80) to score 181 runs in 48 overs.
For Australia, barring off-spinner Param Uppal, all the bowlers picked up wickets at regular intervals to keep the opposition on the back foot. Medium pacer Jonathan Merlo (4/24) was the stand out bowler for the side. In response, Australia chased down the target in 37.3 over with six wickets to spare.
Chasing a low total, Australia lost their opener Max Bryant (4) early. However, Jack Edwards (72) steadied the ship by scoring a brilliant half-century.
Edwards, whose innings was laced with eight boundaries and two hits over the fence, was involved in a 77-run third wicket stand with skipper Jason Sangha (26). Later, incoming batsmen Param Uppal (32 not out) and Nathan McSweeney (22 not out) remained unbeaten to clinch a comfortable victory for their side.
For Afghanistan, Qais Ahmad (2/35) was the most successful bowler.
Brief scores: Afghanistan 181 (Ikram Ali Khil 80, Rahmanullah 20; Jonathan Merlo 4/24) against Australia 182/4 (Jack Edwards 72, Param Uppal 32 not out; Qais Ahmad 2/35).