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3rd Place Play-off, Coolidge, February 04, 2022, ICC Under-19 World Cup
(49.1/50 ov, T:202) 202/8

AUS Under-19 won by 2 wickets (with 5 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
66 (96) & 3/31

U-19 WC: Radhakrishnan's all-round show helps Australia clinch third place

Nangeyalia Kharote triggered a collapse late in the chase but Australia clung on to win by two wickets

Sreshth Shah
Sreshth Shah
Nivethan Radhakrishnan scored a vital half-century after picking up 3 for 31  •  ICC/Getty Images

Nivethan Radhakrishnan scored a vital half-century after picking up 3 for 31  •  ICC/Getty Images

Australia 202 for 8 (Radhakrishnan 66, Kellaway 51, Kharote 3-35) beat Afghanistan 201 all out (Ijaz 81, Radhakrishnan 3-31, Salzmann 3-43) by two wickets
Nivethan Radhakrishnan was the hero for Australia in the third-place playoff match as his all-round show downed Afghanistan in a close contest. His three-wicket haul limited Afghanistan to 201, and his 66 from No. 3 set up the chase. Australia were in for a scare when they went from 193 for 5 to 196 for 8 late in the contest, but they hung on, winning by two wickets.
Radhakrishnan, known for being an ambidextrous spinner, used his right-arm offbreaks to run through the Afghanistan middle order. Suliman Safi was adjudged lbw while trying to sweep Radhakrishnan, given out even though the impact seemed to be outside the line of the stumps. Safi had to walk back for a promising 37. Bilal Ahmad holed out down the ground and Noor Ahmad was bowled trying to slog Radhakrishnan as he finished with 3 for 31.
The early bowling impact from Australia, though, came from the seamer William Salzmann, who also grabbed a three-for. It was his opening spell that rattled Afghanistan, and by his second over, he had sent Nangeyalia Kharote and Allah Noor packing. Salzmann also contributed to the third Afghan wicket when his throw from cover caught Mohammad Ishaq napping outside his crease.
After Radhakrishnan got into the act with the Safi wicket, Khaiber Wali was run-out trying to pinch a single that wasn't there before Salzmann returned to dismiss Afghanistan's highest scorer Ijaz Ahmad Ahmadzai (81). With five fours and five sixes, Ijaz's hand ensured Afghanistan had some sort of total to bowl at, and his 79-ball innings took the side past 200. He held up one end when wickets were tumbling from the other, and he eventually fell to Salzmann in the 49th over while trying to find the boundary.
Cooper Connolly then knocked the tailenders over, leaving Australia needing 202 to win.
Radhakrishnan walked in at No. 3 when Teague Wyllie fell early for 13. He took his time against Afghanistan's spin attack, and put on 60 with Campbell Kellaway in 15.2 overs. Their stand took Australia past 100, before Kellaway was bowled by the left-arm wristspinner Noor soon after reaching his fifty. Noor was soon in the act again when he bowled Connolly with a googly.
Radhakrishnan, though, kept the innings moving, his occasional boundaries taking Australia closer. He had begun his innings with two cover drives for four before dispatching a short Noor delivery for another boundary. He even played a dab, a sweep and a cut and reached his fifty in 72 balls. He was the fifth Australian out when he was stumped after misreading the flight of a Shahidullah Hasani delivery.
At 167 for 5, Australia were expected to cruise to victory, but Kharote was not going down without a fight. With Australia in the 190s, he removed wicketkeeper Lachlan Shaw and Salzmann in quick succession. Between the two wickets Kharote sandwiched an effort from backward point that ran Corey Miller out.
With five to defend and only the No. 11 still to come, the game was in the balance going into the last two overs. Joshua Garner and Jack Sinfield knocked off four singles in a nervy 49th over, before Garner found the gap through a packed infield in the first ball of the final over to give Australia the bronze medal.

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx

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