England and Sri Lanka sealed safe passage to the Plate semi-finals with assured wins as the next stage of the ICC U19 World Cup got underway.
England missed out on a Super League place after a dramatic defeat to Australia and began to make amends with a nine-wicket triumph over tournament debutants Japan.
And Sri Lanka, who came within two balls of a spot in the Super League in defeat to New Zealand, were in bullish form with the bat and overwhelmed Nigeria by 233 runs.
Currie and Qadri help England bounce back at first attempt
England needed just 11.3 overs of their batting reply to defeat Japan and advance from their Plate quarter-final in Potchefstroom.
Jon Lewis’ side have quickly recovered from the disappointment of missing out on the Super League playoffs and bristled with intent in hustling Japan out for 93.
Dan Mousley hurried to the finish, carting 57 not out from just 36 balls as the end came quickly for debutants Japan.
“We knew we had to be ruthless, but Japan frustrated us upfront,” said England captain George Hill.
“It was a clinical performance. All three of the batters are positive players, and they did exactly what was needed.
“It’s obviously disappointing to miss out on the Super League, but hopefully this win is a real confidence boost, and sets us up for the rest of the competition.”
Japan were 78 for two at one point, as they showed considerable resolve with the bat.
Debashish Sahoo (24) and Shu Noguchi (20) were determined as Japan continued to show progress in their first ever appearance at the World Cup, in the face of a good England attack.
Once that resistance fell away, however, England ran through the middle and lower-order and the extras column of 22 propped up the eventual total.
Scott Currie was unerring with the ball, taking three for 15 in seven overs, and spinner Hamidullah Qadri also helped himself to three scalps, finishing off the innings in the 39th over.
Chasing the target of 94, England immediately showed intent and Mousley smashed two sixes and seven fours to seal victory for his side.
England now face the winner of UAE’s clash with Scotland on 28 January, while Japan go into the Plate playoff semi-finals and face the loser of that match.
Sri Lanka pile up the runs to see off Nigeria
Ravindu Rashantha and Dilshan Madushanka combined to help Sri Lanka secure a Plate semi-final spot with a 233-run win over Nigeria in Potchefstroom.
The West Africans were bowled out for 73 in pursuit of Sri Lanka’s towering total of 306 for seven from their allotted 50 overs.
Man of the Match Rashantha top scored with an unbeaten 102, ably supported by Mohamed Shamaaz (56) and Sonal Dinusha (43).
After the match, Rashantha said: “I am very happy for the team and hope this good result can continue.
“We did not make it to the Super League stages and hope we can still make our country proud by doing well in the Plate stage.”
Abdulrasheed Abolarin was the pick of the bowlers for the Nigerians with two for 50 but his charges could last just 17.3 overs with the bat as Madushanka took five for 36.
Sri Lanka will play the winner of the Plate quarter-final fixture between Zimbabwe and Canada that will take place on Tuesday, while Nigeria go into the Plate playoff semi-finals and will take on the loser.
Scores in brief
England Under 19s beat Japan Under 19s by nine wickets, Witrand Oval, Potchefstroom
Japan 93 all out, 38.4 overs (Debashish Sahoo 24, Shu Noguchi 20; Scott Currie 3-15, Hamidullah Qadri 3-17)
England 94-1, 11.3 overs (Dan Mousley 57no; Max Clements 1-17)
Sri Lanka Under 19s beat Nigeria Under 19s by 233 runs, Ibbies Oval, Potchefstroom
Sri Lanka 306-7, 50 overs (Ravindu Rashantha 102no, Mohamed Shamaaz 56, Sonal Dinusha 43; Abdulrasheed Abolarin 2-50)
Nigeria 73 all out, 17.3 overs (Abdulrahman Jimoh 15; Dilshan Madushanka 5-36, Kavindu Nadeeshan 3-6)
ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 Fixtures
Super League Quarter Final 1: 28 January: India v Australia – JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom
Plate Quarter Final 3: 28 January: Zimbabwe v Canada – Ibbies Oval, Potchefstroom
Plate Quarter Final 4: 28 January: United Arab Emirates v Scotland – Witrand Oval, Potchefstroom
Super League Quarter Final 2: 29 January: West Indies v New Zealand – Willowmoore Park, Benoni
Super League Quarter Final 3: 30 January: Bangladesh v South Africa – JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom
Super League Quarter Final 4: 31 January: Afghanistan v Pakistan – Willowmoore Park, Benoni