DUBAI- A half-century from Ryan Higgins and a three-wicket new-ball burst from Matthew Fisher led England Under-19s to a 115-run win over New Zealand Under-19s and, with it, a place in the quarter-finals.
Higgins, batting at No. 3, made a 123-ball 83, with five fours and two sixes, and held together England's innings after they had chosen to bat. Higgins shared stands of 57 for the second wicket with Harry Finch, 46 for the fifth wicket with Will Rhodes and 64 for the sixth wicket with wicketkeeper Joe Clarke to take his team to 199 for 4 in the 47th over, before both he and Clarke fell at the same score.
Clarke struck six fours in a 23-ball 33. That double strike didn't slow England's progress, however, as Rob Sayer and Rob Jones pushed their total to 229 for 8 with a partnership of 28 off just 15 balls. Seamer Brett Randell was New Zealand's most successful bowler with three wickets, while spinners Jeremy Benton and Dane Watson, between them, conceded just 54 in 20 overs, while picking up a wicket apiece.
New Zealand lost opener Tim Seifert for a first-ball duck, Fisher swinging one into him to trap him leg-before. Over the rest of his first spell, Fisher struck two more times, leaving New Zealand 33 for 3 in the 11th over. Opener Raki Weerasundara then added 29 with Shawn Hicks before he fell for a 62-ball 41. These were to remain the best partnership and highest score of the innings, as New Zealand subsided to a disappointing 114 in 36.1 overs. Seamer Jack Winslade and spinners Sayer and Jones picked up two wickets apiece.
Tagenarine Chanderpaul produced his second consecutive Player-of-the-Match winning performance to confirm West Indies' entry to the knock-out stage of the competition. Chanderpaul missed his century by seven runs, but his innings ensured West Indies put up a strong total and scored a comfortable 63-run win against Canada.
Chanderpaul added 62 for the first wicket with Shimron Hetmyer after West Indies chose to bat, and strengthened the team's position with a 95-run stand for the second wicket with Jeremy Solozano. The thrust for the innings, though, came through Nicolas Pooran, who smashed an unbeaten 67 off 41 balls, hitting three fours and four sixes. West Indies slowed down a touch after losing Solozano and Jonathan Drakes in quick succession, but Pooran added 77 for the fourth wicket with Chanderpaul in 10.1 overs, before unleashing the big shots. The last 10 balls of the innings pushed West Indies' total up by 31, with Pooran doing maximum damage.
Canada crossed the 100-mark with only two wickets lost, but their scoring rate remained slow. Nikhil Dutta and Tahla Shaikh put on 88 for the fourth wicket, but once Shaikh was run out, the next six wickets only added 29 runs.
A quick hundred from opener Hashan Dumindu charged Sri Lanka to the quarter-finals with an eight-wicket win over United Arab Emirates in Sharjah. Chasing 206, Sri Lanka achieved the target with nearly seven overs to spare for their third consecutive win to top Group D.
UAE could not make the most of their decision to bat, even though they got a stable start. After the opening stand of 51 was broken in the 15th over, No. 3 Shorye Chopra upped the run rate with a 77-ball 69. He helped the team cross 150 but was caught in the 38th over. UAE lost their remaining five wickets for 52 runs as left-arm seamer Binura Fernando took the last two wickets within three deliveries to dismiss UAE for 205. Anuk Fernando and Harsha Rajapaksha also picked up two wickets each.
Sri Lanka lost their opener Sadeera Samarawickrama in the sixth over but Dumindu stitched a stand of 94 for the second with Kusal Mendis, before the latter was run out for 45. Dumindu and Hashen Ramanayake then took them home with a partnership of 88 runs in less than 18 overs. While Dumindu struck 11 fours and a six for his unbeaten 113, Ramanayake was 34 not out with a four and a six.