Dubai: England and the West Indies advanced to the quarter-finals of the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup when they comfortably won their decisive Group C and D matches respectively today. England overcame Sunday's heart-breaking loss to Sri Lanka by bouncing back to defeat New Zealand by 115 runs at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, while 2004 runner-up West Indies beat Canada by 63 runs at Abu Dhabi Oval 1.
In the other matches on the fifth day of the 16-day competition, two-time runner-up South Africa recorded an easy seven wickets victory over its African neighbour Zimbabwe at Zayed Cricket Stadium and 2000 finalist Sri Lanka defeated the host United Arab Emirates (UAE) by eight wickets at Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Today's results mean that from Group C, South Africa and West Indies have progressed to the Super League quarter-finals while Canada and Zimbabwe will feature in the Plate Championship and from Group D, Sri Lanka and England will appear in the Super League quarter-finals while New Zealand and the UAE will play in the Plate Championship.
Tomorrow, the winner of Pakistan-Scotland match will join defending champion India in the Super League quarter-finals from Group A, whereas any of the two teams from Afghanistan, Australia and Bangladesh can qualify for the Super League quarter-finals from Group B. The feature of today's matches were magnificent unbeaten centuries from South Africa captain Aiden Markram (120 not out) and Sri Lanka opener Hashan Dumindu (113 not out), while South Africa s Yaseen Valli also maintained his excellent batting form by following up his scores of 53 (against West Indies) and 102 not out (against Canada) with 53 not out against Zimbabwe. Brett Randell was one of the star bowlers of the day when he returned figures of three for 57, but ended up on the losing side as England defeated New Zealand by 115 runs.
Electing to bat first, England was restricted to 229 for eight after Ryan Higgins scored a watchful but attractive 83 that came from 123 balls with five fours and two sixes. He featured in two half-century partnerships when for the second wicket he put on 57 runs with Harry Finch (30) and added another 64 runs for the sixth wicket with Joe Clarke (33). England was extremely severe in the last 10 overs which yielded 100 runs, including 57 off the final five overs. In its chase, New Zealand was rocked by fast bowlers Matthew Fisher and Jack Winslade, and spinners Rob Sayer and Rob Jones as it was bundled out for 114 in 36.1 overs.
Fisher was the pick of England bowlers when he finished with three for 18, while Winslade picked up wickets off successive deliveries to end up with two for 23. Sayer, with his off-spinners, bagged two for 21 and wrist-spinner Jones claimed two for 33. Markram was in a punishing mood as he clobbered 13 fours and a six in a 119-ball 120 not out as South Africa achieved a modest 199-run target in 39 overs to beat Zimbabwe by seven wickets.
Scores in brief:
Group C: West Indies 289-4 in 50 overs (Tagenarine Chanderpaul 93, Nicolas Pooran 67 not out, Jeremy Solozano 50, Shimron Hetmyer 39; Keenan Tinto 2-64) Canada 226 all out in 49.3 overs (Nikhil Dutta 62, Nitish Kumar 50; Ramaal Lewis 2-44, Ray Jordan 2-44)
Group C: Zimbabwe 198 all out in 50 overs (Luke Jongwe 55; Justin Dill 4-35, Kagiso Rabada 2-47) South Africa 199-3, 39 overs (Aiden Markram 120 not out; Yaseen Valli 53 not out)
Group D: England 229-8 in 50 overs (Ryan Higgins 83, Joe Clarke 33, Will Rhodes 31, Harry Finch 30; Brett Randell 3-57) New Zealand 114 all out, 36.1 overs (Raki Weerasundara 41; Matthew Fisher 3-18)
Group D: Sri Lanka beat the UAE by eight wickets UAE 205 all out, 47.5 overs (Shorye Chopra 69; Binura Fernando 2-38, Harsha Rajapaksha 2-40, Anuk Fernando 2-43) Sri Lanka 206-2, 43.1 overs (Hashan Dumindu 113 not out, Kusal Mendis 45, Hashen Ramanayake 34 not out).