Hurricane Holder destroys U19s
England's dreams of winning the Under-19 World Cup were blown away by Jason Holder as West Indies won a rain-reduced quarter-final by 18 runs.
Chasing 167 for victory in Rangiora, England failed to put together a match-winning partnership that would have seen them through. Four batsmen passed 20 but none of them could convert their start into something substantial.
Holder, who dismissed Alastair Cook and Owais Shah when England played a tour match in Barbados last February, boosted his reputation with two early wickets before mopping up the England tail to finish with 5-19 - the best figures of the tournament so far.
Overnight rain and gloomy conditions this morning meant the players took an early lunch. When the weather finally relented the umpires did the necessary calculations and reduced the match to 36 overs per side.
Hoping his bowlers would be able to make use of the seamer friendly conditions, England captain Azeem Rafiq won the toss and elected to bowl first at the Mainpower Oval.
The skipper was involved as David Payne made a breakthrough in the fourth over, Rafiq catching Trevon Griffith with 15 runs on the board.
Payne then bowled John Campbell for 10 to reduce West Indies to 32 for two.
West Indies regrouped after the double setback with Kraigg Brathwaite and skipper Andre Cleary compiling comfortably the game's biggest partnership.
The pair put on 103 in less than 20 overs, Brathwaite chalking up a patient 69 and Creary 52 at a little less than a run a ball.
As often happens after a substantial partnership, both fell in quick succession of each other as England mounted a fightback with Danny Briggs and Ben Stokes to the fore.
After Briggs dismissed Brathwaite, Ben Stokes sent back Creary and Shane Dowrich in the space of four deliveries.
The duo then struck again in quick succession as West Indies slumped to 148 for seven, their last five wickets falling for just 13 runs.
The returning Payne took two more wickets to finish with 4-19, leaving Nathan Buck to polish off the innings by trapping Nicholson Gordon leg-before.
England made a terrible start in their reply with Joe Root and Chris Dent both falling to Holder within four overs.
At 20 for two England needed arguably their best batsman James Vince to lay a platform for a successful chase, and the Hampshire batsman looked in the mood by firing off five boundaries.
But having reached 20 in just 15 balls, Vince became the first of two wickets for Nelson Bolan who then induced Jos Buttler to edge behind to leave England reeling at 38 for four.
Ateeq Javid and Stokes joined forces with England needing a repeat of their century-plus stand from the win over India just two days before.
Unfortunately, the pair could only muster 40 this time with Stokes stumped by Dowrich off Campbell for 24 and Javid edging Jermaine Blackwood behind for 20.
At 89 for six, much rested on Rafiq who last summer scored a maiden first class century for Yorkshire against Worcestershire.
The captain joined forces with Briggs and the pair gradually chipped away at the total to take England within sight of victory.
But England's hopes were dented when Briggs was bowled by Campbell to leave them 119 for seven - still 48 adrift with ten overs remaining.
Disaster struck in the 32nd over when the returning Holder blasted out Adam Ball and Rafiq within the space of three deliveries as England were left needing a miracle at 138 for nine.
It did not arrive, Holder castling Payne at the start of the 34th over to book West Indies a semi-final berth.