Australia beat Sri Lanka to reach U-19 World Cup final

WELLINGTON: Australian captain Mitchell Marsh plundered 97 from 110 balls to lead his side to victory over Sri Lanka Wednesday and set up a showdown with Pakistan in the final of the under-19 cricket World Cup.

The Australian innings at Lincoln, near Christchurch, was built around a near flawless knock from Marsh, who was called to the crease in the second over with Australia at 3-1 in reply to Sri Lanka’s 205.

By the 22nd over, Australia were teetering at 93-5 before Marsh and Tom Triffitt (50) put on 78 for the sixth wicket.

When Marsh fell in the 38th over, caught and bowled by Rumesh Buddika, he had his side in sight of victory at 171-6.

Australia lost two more wickets before reaching their 206-run target with nine balls to spare.

Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat, only to be blitzed by the Australian fast bowling of Josh Hazlewood, who took four for 26, and Alister McDermott, who finished with two for 43.

By the 11th over Sri Lanka were 35-5 and only late resistance from Kithuruwan Vithanage (40), Akshu Fernando (52) and captain Chatura Peiris (39) carried them past the 200 mark.

Pakistan, who beat the West Indies by four wickets in the first semi-final on Monday, are the only unbeaten side in the competition, while Australia were beaten by South Africa in pool play. —AFP

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