U-19 WC: Sri Lanka, South Africa progress to quarter-finals

SA's Van Heerden, Brevis, Boast crush Ireland; lower order propels Sri Lanka to thrilling win against West Indies

Sreshth Shah
Sreshth Shah
George Van Heerden celebrates his hundred  •  ICC via Getty Images

George Van Heerden celebrates his hundred  •  ICC via Getty Images

South Africa 315 for 7 (Van Heerden 111, Brevis 96, Copeland 43, Wilson 2-59) beat Ireland 158 all out (McGuire 42, Alder 3-20, Boast 3-26) by 153 runs (DLS method)
47-overs-a-side contest
A dominating century from the captain George Van Heerden and 96 from Dewald Brevis took South Africa to the Under-19 World Cup quarter-final after they beat Ireland by 153 runs by DLS method in Tarouba.
Van Heerden, who played second fiddle in partnerships with Brevis so far in the competition, took the lead in his side's final Group B match. He made a 93-ball 111, displaying his strength with his sixes. Seven of them were down the ground, while one was pulled over deep midwicket.
He turbocharged his innings in the back end when he struck three sixes in a row off seamer Liam Doherty to move from 78 to 96 in the first three balls of the 46th over, before smacking the bowler over his head off the last ball of the over to reach his century in 89 balls. He was out to Matthew Humphreys on the last ball of the innings.
Van Heerden was also part of a 118-run fourth-wicket stand with No. 3 Brevis after South Africa had lost their third wicket for 63. Brevis notched up his third fifty-plus score in a row at the World Cup, becoming only the second South African to do so at the Under-19 World Cup. Incidentally, when Yaseen Vallie did so in 2014, South Africa went on to win the competition.
Brevis, who missed a second-consecutive century by four runs, started his innings by guiding a yorker to third man for four before using the reverse sweep, inside-out drives, and pulls to build his innings. Unlike previous partnerships between Van Heerden and Brevis - where the latter dominated the stand - this time around, both batters matched each other with their boundary-making shots in the partnership. While Brevis reached his fifty in the 22nd over with a four through cover, the No. 5 Van Heerden reached his half-century three balls after Brevis' dismissal in the 37th over, when he was caught on the offside on 96.
Van Heerden was also part of a 44-ball partnership of 90 runs with Michael Copeland for the sixth wicket, where the No. 8 Copeland scored 43 runs at a strike rate of 238. Copeland was looking good for a half-century but was out in the 46th over after Doherty took a difficult sliding catch at deep midwicket to end his stay.
South Africa scored 122 runs in the last ten to finish on 315, and every Ireland bowler except left-arm spinner Jamie Forbes went at over six per over.
It was the big seamer Matthew Boast who then rattled Ireland in the chase, dismissing opener Doherty for a first-ball duck and then trapping the No. 3 Joshua Cox lbw for 0. He then uprooted Tim Tector's stumps to send Ireland reeling at 38 for 3. Boast got the new ball to swing and finished with 3 for 26 in seven overs.
The other opener Nathan McGuirem tried to counterattack with a 33-ball 42, but he was removed by seamer Andile Simelane, and Liam Alder had Macbeth caught at mid-on at the stroke of drinks with the score at 87 for 5.
Philippus le Roux then made 33 from No. 5, and Humphreys entertained with a 30-ball 38 from No. 9, but Ireland were nowhere in contention for the win. Asakhe Sakha took two lower-order wickets, and Alder, the left-arm spinner, dismissed the last two men to finish with 3 for 20. South Africa, who are set to finish second in their group, will now face England in the quarter-final.
Sri Lanka 251 for 7 (Rajapaksa 76, Bandara 40, Clarke 2-38) beat West Indies 250 for 9 (Wickham 56, Johnson 47, Wellalage 3-56) by three wickets
In the final Group D game, Sri Lanka won their third straight game, and in the process, ended hosts West Indies' chance of winning a World Cup on home soil by completing a seven-wicket win. Australia, who had finished the group stage on four points, needed Sri Lanka to defeat West Indies to be assured of quarter-final qualification, and the result sees both sides now move on to the next stage.
Sri Lanka chased down 251 with only three wickets in hand, finishing the game in the 49th over. Opener Sadisha Rajapaksa made 76 in 115 balls, but the real impetus in their innings came from the middle order. No. 3 Shevon Daniel made 34 in 33 balls, the wicketkeeper Anjala Bandara made a 52-ball 40 and the No. 7 Ranuda Somarathne scored an unbeaten 27-ball 28.
It was a tricky chase for Sri Lanka, who were 96 for 3 at one stage, but the fourth-wicket stand of 78 between Rajapaksa and Bandara stabilised their innings, after which they did not look back.
West Indies had made 250 on the back of a middle-order feasting of runs. No. 3 Teddy Bishop made 45, No. 4 Kevin Wickham scored 56, No. 5 Jordan Johnson struck 47 and No. 6 Rivaldo Clarke notched up a 35-ball 45. However, none of them could go on to capitalise on their solid starts, with Sri Lanka captain Dunith Wellalage taking 3 for 39 and West Indies falling prey to three consecutive run-outs.
West Indies, who were hit by two players unavailable due to Covid-19, had drafted in both their Covid replacements for the match. While Wickham top scored with 56, seam bowler Nathan Edwards took 1 for 50.
Sri Lanka and Australia will now wait to see how Group C pans out before learning about their quarter-final opponents.

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