Australia continued to enjoy the edge over England at the Under-19 World Cup and in thrilling style. Two years after Lloyd Pope's astonishing 8 for 35 in Queenstown bowled Australia into the semi-final, they managed to haul themselves over the line by two wickets off the final ball in the Group B encounter after the game appeared to have slipped away.
Mackenzie Harvey had struck a vital half-century in the chase of 253 but his dismissal at 153 for 2 sparked a collapse which left them 206 for 8 in the 46th over with left-arm spinner Lewis Goldsworthy impressing with 2 for 24. With No. 9 Connor Sully and No. 10 Todd Murphy together the equation came down to 40 off 18 balls. Two dot balls began the 48th over before Sully changed the game by taking Blake Cullen for 22 off the next four deliveries.
That left 18 off two overs which became 10 from the last bowled by Joey Evison. Murphy managed a vital boundary to bring it down to 4 off 3 balls then a misfield off the penultimate ball leveled the scores leaving Sully to loft the final ball over the infield.
"I tried to keep a clear mind, watch the ball and hit it," Sully said. "We've got a good feeling at the moment, a tough bunch of cricketers with good character which showed today. I seemed like we were down and out but we hung in there until the end."
Earlier, Ben Charlesworth top scored with 82 for England, but found little support from the other batsmen. England were handily placed at 141 for 2 going into the last 20 overs, but managed to add just 112 more. That they eventually scraped past the 250-mark was due to Dan Mousely's unbeaten 51. The defeat means England will now compete in the Plate competition.
Elsewhere, first-timers Nigeria were no match to 2016 champions West Indies. They were first run ragged on the field as West Indies scored 303 for 8, fuelled by half-centuries from Kimani Melius, the captain, (65) and Matthew Patrick (68). But it still needed a lower-order revival for West Indies to push forward from 199 for 6. Joshua James' cameo of 43 off 30 provided the final kick.
Nigeria's batsmen stuttered against the pace of Jayden Searles, who picked up four wickets to set them back. It was a blow they couldn't recover from. Having struck a half- century, Patrick picked up two wickets to walk away with the top honours as Nigeria were bowled out for 57, losing by 246 runs.