England earned a semi-final date with Pakistan when they held their nerve to beat defending champions India by three wickets in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2014 on Saturday.
At Dubai International Cricket Stadium, England overhauled India’s 221 for eight with five balls and three wickets to spare, but not before they required 15 runs off the last two overs and then eight off the final seven deliveries.
Man-of-the-Match Ben Duckett scored 61 off 64 balls with seven fours, wicketkeeper-batsman Joe Clarke chipped in with 42 off 45 balls with six fours and Rob Jones contributed 28 not out after England had slipped to 41 for three and then 148 for six after having recovered to 117 for three in its run-chase.
Duckett added 76 runs for the fourth wicket with Ed Barnard (24).
Earlier, fast bowler Matthew Fisher took three wickets as India were reduced to 24 for four in 8.1 overs before Deepak Hooda, Sarfaraz Khan and Vijay Zol helped them to 221 for eight.
Hooda and Vijay, who were both dropped every early in their innings, added 87 runs for the fourth wicket. Hooda, who was finally run-out, hit six fours in a 99-ball innings while Zol hit three fours in a 85-ball innings.
However, it was a 46-ball cameo by Sarfaraz that got India to 221 for eight. Sarfaraz hit four fours in a 52 not out. It was Sarfaraz’s intelligent stroke-play that allowed India to score 74 runs in the last 10 overs, including 44 off the final five overs.
In the other match, Pakistan produced a clinical performance to defeat Sri Lanka by 121 runs after captain Sami Aslam and Imam-ul-Haq produced their third opening wicket century partnership in four matches.
Sami scored 95 and Imam contributed 82 as the two left-handers put on 177 for the first wicket in 37 overs in Pakistan’s eventual total of 279 for nine in their 50 overs.
Today, West Indies will bid for a place in the semi-finals when they play Australia in Dubai, while South Africa face Afghanistan in Sharjah.