It was Australia’s third successive victory, which meant they are assured of a place in the last-eight stage. -Photo courtesy: ICC

TOWNSVILLE: Reigning champions Australia eased into the Super League quarter-final of the ICC Under-19 World Cup after registering a six-wicket victory against Ireland at the Endeavour Park 2 here on Tuesday.

Alex Gregory (three for 13), Shane Cassell (three for 24) and Gurinder Sandhu (two for 35) shared wickets between them as Ireland was skittled out for 129 in 42.5 overs after electing to bat first.

Skipper Will Bosisto (36) and Sam Hain (26) put on 59 for the unbroken fifth wicket partnership as Australia achieved the target with just under 10 overs to spare.

It was Australia’s third successive victory, which meant they are assured of a place in the last-eight stage of the tournament which will be played in Townsville from Sunday.

The top two sides from all the four groups qualify for the Super League quarter-finals while the bottom two sides complete in the Plate Championship.

Also reaching the Super League quarter-final stage were Pakistan and New Zealand from Group ‘B’. New Zealand defeated Afghanistan by a narrow eight-run margin which meant Pakistan and New Zealand went through from their group. However, Thursday’s match between New Zealand and Pakistan will confirm which side tops the group.

In the other matches of the day, two-time former champions India defeated Zimbabwe by 63 runs despite Malcolm Lake’s 118 at Tony Ireland Stadium while South Africa’s Quinton de Kock (126) and Chad Bowes (115) smashed entertaining centuries to inspire their side to a thumping 209 runs victory over Namibia at John Blanch Oval in Brisbane.

Qualifiers Afghanistan came desperately close to pulling off the first major upset of the tournament but fell just nine runs short of victory after being restricted for 190 for nine while chasing New Zealand’s 198.

At 26 for five, an early finish loomed large for Afghanistan before they mustered a dogged lower order fight back that saw them need 17 runs from the final over.

New Zealand fast bowler Matthew Quinn, later declared the Man-of-the-Match, bowled the final over and conceded just eight runs to clinch a tense win for his side.

Quinn finished with figures of four for 26, finishing off the good work that he and new ball partner Jacob Duffy (four for 40) had started at the beginning of the innings.

India bounced back from Sunday’s loss to the West Indies with a 68-run victory over Zimbabwe, despite a courageous century by Lake. Lake clubbed 10 fours and five sixes in a 107-ball knock but his side was still dismissed for 198 after being set a 262 run target by India.

Indian medium-pacer Kamal Passi was outstanding with the ball, ripping through Zimbabwe’s top order and ended with figures of 8-1-23-6.

Brief scores:

At Endeavour Park, Townsville: Group ‘A’ — Australia beat Ireland by six wickets. IRELAND 129 in 42.5 overs (Ryan Hunter 31, Tyrone Kane 21; Alex Gregory 3-13, Shane Cassell 3-24, Gurinder Sandhu 2-35); AUSTRALIA 133-4 in 40.3 overs (Will Bosisto 36 not out, Sam Hain 26 not out, Travis Head 25). At Kev Hackney Oval, Buderim: Group ‘B’ — New Zealand beat Afghanistan by eight runs. NEW ZEALAND 198 in 50 overs (Robert O’Donnell 69, Henry Walsh 52; Sayed Shirzad 4-34, Yamin Ahmadzai 4-35); AFGHANISTAN 190-9 in 50 overs (Najibullah Zadran 69, Afsar Khan 42; Matthew Quinn 4-26, Jacob Duffy 4-40). At Tony Ireland Stadium, Townsville: Group ‘C’ — India beat Zimbabwe by 63 runs. INDIA 261-6 in 50 overs (Unmukt Chand 78, Prashant Chopra 57, Hanuman Vihari 31; Campbell Light 3-22); ZIMBABWE 198 in 44.1 overs (Malcolm Lake 118; Kamal Passi 6-23). At Peter Burge Oval, Brisbane: Group ‘D’ — South Africa beat Namibia by 209 runs. SOUTH AFRICA 359-6 in 50 overs (Quinton de Kock 126, Chad Bowes 115, Gihahn Cloete 36 not out; Zhivago Groenewald 3-85, Andre Engelbrecht 2-57); NAMIBIA 150 in 46 overs (Pelham Myburgh 37, Zhivago Groenewald 26, Gerhard Erasmus 21; Theunis de Bruyn 4-20). Wednesday’s fixtures: Ireland v Nepal (Endeavour Park, Townsville); Afghanistan v Scotland (John Blanch Oval, Buderim); Sri Lanka v South Africa (Peter Burge Oval, Brisbane).—Agencies

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