Under-19s book final berth
England salvaged some pride by beating Sri Lanka to reach the Under-19 World Cup Super League play-off final where they will face Australia or Bangladesh on Saturday.
Coach Andy Pick’s side edged home by eight runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method as they reached 204 for three in the 45th over chasing Sri Lanka’s total of 241 for five.
England’s top order batsmen all fired as opener Billy Godleman (57) and new captain Tom Westley (58) starred. Sam Northeast was unbeaten on 45 when play was halted at Kuala Lumpur’s Royal Selangor Club.
The victory represents a major recovery following Sunday’s seven-wicket defeat to India in the Super League quarter-final and the Group D defeat to Bangladesh.
Westley, who took over from the injured Alex Wakely, put Sri Lanka in to bat and England made the most of the early morning conditions as opening bowlers Steven Finn and Stuart Meaker each claimed an early wicket to reduce Sri Lanka to 10 for two.
Tom Westley claimed a third scalp but opening batsman Lahiru Thirimanne (47) and skipper Ashan Priyanjan (54) mounted a recovery before being removed by spin pair Liam Dawson and Westley respectively.
However, Sachith Pathirana ensured a competitive total by smashing 97 from 91 balls as Sri Lanka collected 59 runs in the last six overs.
Godleman and opening partner James Taylor helped England make the most of the early fielding restrictions, putting on 75 before Taylor was out for 30 in the 15th over.
Godleman batted responsibly before falling to spinner Roshen Silva but Westley and Northeast added 90 for the third wicket to put England in a strong position prior to the captain falling to Silva.
Dan Redfern was unbeaten on two as England ensured they were ahead of the required run rate when the elements closed in.
They will discover their final opponents on Wednesday for the game at the same venue which will effectively decide fifth place in the World Cup.
Elsewhere, England’s quarter-final conquerors, New Zealand, reached the Super League final with a three-wicket win against New Zealand using the Duckworth Lewis method. West Indies beat Papua New Guinea by six wickets to reach the Plate final.