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Australia overcome Pooran onslaught

Monday, 24 February 2014 - 6:00am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Australia booked a place in the semifinals of the ICC Under-19 World Cup with a five-wicket win over the West Indies in Dubai on Sunday. Jake Doran (49*) hit the winning runs as Australia achieved the 209-run target with 20 deliveries to spare.

South Africa made quick work of Afghanistan in the other quarterfinal, with Aiden Markram scoring an unbeaten 105 in his team's nine-wicket win in Sharjah. The Proteas will meet fierce rivals Australia in Dubai on Wednesday. The first semifinal, to be played in Dubai on Monday, will feature England and Pakistan.

Back to the Australia game, and their bowlers were on fire all morning. But in spite of reducing the Caribbean outfit to 70/8, they failed to hammer the final nail in the coffin. Wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran took full advantage of the situation and mounted a spirited fightback with a monumental counter-attacking 143 off 160 balls. His knock was studded with 14 fours and six sixes.

As always, Australia's Billy Stanlake (1/16) struck early with the new ball, this time bagging Shimron Hetmyer (1) with a swinging yorker. Stanlake's new-ball partner, Guy Walker, followed up the next over with consecutive wickets and had to wait for his next over to deliver his hat-trick ball. Alas, he missed out on the feat.

James Bazley (1/35) and Ben Ashkenazi (2/37) then put the West Indies in further trouble. Bazley removed Jeremy Solozano for 10 before the in-form Ashkenazi had Brandon King caught behind for seven. He then ripped out Ramaal Lewis's middle stump for one. Leg-spinner Tom Andrews's also joined the party with a couple of wickets as the West Indies were in serious danger of being bowled out for less than 100.

However, Pooran withstood the pressure by putting on a 136-run partnership with Jermone Jones for the ninth wicket. He was eventually bowled by Walker (3/44) as the West Indies were dismissed in the 50th over.

In reply, openers Jaron Morgan (55) and Matt Short (52) established a solid 107-run platform and both raised their bats for their half-centuries before departing. Doran then steered Australia to victory with another controlled effort.

Zol suspended for one match
India's U-19 captain Vijay Zol has been suspended for one match and off-spinner Aamir Gani reprimanded after being found guilty of breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during the World Cup quarterfinal against England in Dubai on Saturday. Zol was found to have breached article 2.2.8 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to "using language or gesture(s) that is seriously obscene, seriously offensive or of a seriously insulting nature". The incident involving Zol happened in the 30th over when the Indian captain caught England's Ben Duckett at short mid-wicket off Kuldeep Yadav and then used seriously offensive language at the batsman. Meanwhile, Gani used obscene language after having England's Ed Barnard caught by Sanju Samson in the 26th over.

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