U-19 World Cup: Australia's Merlo, Edwards script Afghanistan defeat

Updated: Jan 30, 2018, 09:00 IST | AFP | Christchurch

Australia cruised into the final of the U-19 World Cup with a six-wicket win over Afghanistan at Christchurch yesterday

Australias Jack Edwards (right) celebrates his half-century against Afghanistan during the U-19 World Cup semi-final yesterday. pic/AFP
Australia's Jack Edwards (right) celebrates his half-century against Afghanistan during the U-19 World Cup semi-final yesterday. Pic/AFP

Australia cruised into the final of the U-19 World Cup with a six-wicket win over Afghanistan at Christchurch yesterday. Australia chased down Afghanistan's target of 182 at a canter, losing just four wickets. Australian all-rounder Jonathan Merlo took four for 24 with the ball before opening batsman Jack Edwards smashed 72 in a man-of the-match knock. They will play the winner of today's semi-final between India and Pakistan in the final on Saturday.

Afghanistan have had a dream run at this year's tournament, defeating Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the group stages, then beat hosts New Zealand by 202 runs to make the final four for the first time. But their batsmen failed to fire against Australia, leaving a spin-heavy attack little to defend. "We did a bit of research on their spinners and thought it'd be a good idea to take the game to them," Edwards said. "Try to get them before they get us. The pitch was pretty slow, probably gave us a bit of time to read the spin, which helped."

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