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With the matches being played under lights from the semi-finals onwards in the Under-19 World Cup, there were expectations that the afternoon start would produce more high-scoring contests.
However, the script was not very different in the first semi-final when England lost early wickets and recovered to 204 in their latest game.
England players said the noon start does not leave much game time under lights so the conditions might remain the same, the only difference being the lack of moisture on the pitch, which could play a part on today’s game against the Australians and the mini-Proteas.
Australia batsman Matthew Short, however, expects more runs when they take on South Africa. “I think it will favour the batsmen more, normally with the early start there has been swing and movement in the morning,” Short said. “It will be interesting to see how the ball plays on the wicket and that will dictate the runs scored.”
South Africa beat Afghanistan comfortably by nine wickets in Sharjah to enter the semis, and SA coach Ray Jennings was happy with the workout.
“We played some really solid cricket but it wasn’t as easy a win as it seemed. They were going at six an over for the first ten overs. Their batsmen could have made 260 or 270 and they didn’t capitalise on their start. Our bowlers pulled it back.”