Mascarenhas takes England through

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Dimitri Mascarenhas (Hong Kong Sixes)

Dimitri Mascarenhas led his side to the Cup stage of the Hong Kong Sixes tomorrow

England secured their place in the Cup stages of the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes after finishing runners-up in the Bradman group today.

Ashley Giles' side started strongly as captain Dimitiri Mascarenhas hit 33 to help England to 79 for five and a 21-run victory over India.

They lost their next game to Pakistan by three wickets but finished strongly to beat South Africa by 15 runs.

Despite the defeat, South Africa finished top of the Bradman Group while England took second place.

“I'm really pleased to get through,” Giles said. “To get 100 in the last game is important because we got quite low scores in the first two games.

“We will take tomorrow as it comes but we are just pleased now to be in the last four.”

Mascarenhas was also happy with England’s first day effort, saying: “We won’t be changing our approach tomorrow.

“All the guys know what it’s like now and how it works so hopefully we’ll be better for it tomorrow.”

England will open against Australia in a round-robin group tomorrow before playing Hong Kong and then South Africa. The top two teams in the group will contest in the final.

Meanwhile the All-Stars team - who boast a wealth of talent including Matthew Hoggard, former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming and West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul - failed to join England in the Cup stages after managing just one victory today.

Playing in the Sobers Group, they first suffered a shock defeat to Hong Kong with the tournament hosts winning by five wickets and then lost to Australia.

A six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka was not enough to secure a top-two finish and they will instead play India in the Plate semi-finals tomorrow while Pakistan take on Sri Lanka for a place in the final.

“It was a poor day really,” said captain Fleming. “We didn't get enough runs on the board to create any pressure. It was difficult.

“There is plenty of fight in us and hopefully we can put on a good show tomorrow.”

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