Top teams in Groups A, B and C looking good for play-off places
Quotes from South Africa captain, England spinner Danny Briggs and Pakistan captain Azeem Ghumman
Photographs from the Sri Lanka v Canada match available through Getty Images, free-to-use images from the England v Afghanistan match are available on ICC FTP site, video news release available from SNTV
Results went according to the form book today at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, with four major cricketing nations recording comfortable wins against Associate sides.
South Africa, England, Pakistan and Sri Lanka all dispatched their opposition without difficulty in one-sided affairs which provided match practice and helped confirm some of the likely qualifiers for the Super League stage.
South Africa was untroubled in its Group B game against USA in Queenstown, chasing down 162 in 35 overs for the loss of just two wickets. Left-handed opener Dominic Hendricks carried his bat through the innings to steer the side to victory. Continuing his impressive form from last week's match against Ireland, his deft footwork and shot-making earned him 75 not out off 103 balls, and the man-of-the-match title.
The tournament runner-up from 2008 started slowly, losing two early wickets, but an unbeaten 128-run third wicket partnership between Hendricks and Colin Ackerman, who hit a punishing 64, completed a clinical victory.
Earlier in the day USA had started confidently until South Africa's impressive pace bowler Graham Hume knocked Steven Taylor's stumps out of the ground with the score at 28. Left-arm spinner Dale Deeb then took up the challenge and had three of the USA batsmen trapped lbw in quick succession.
The USA were unable to get on top of the tight bowling attack but looked more disciplined than in earlier outings. Gregory Sewdial timed the ball well, cracking four fours and a majestic straight six to bring up the 100, and the side made full use of its 50 overs, all out for 163 on the second-last ball. For South Africa, Deeb finished with 3-23, Hume 3-29 and medium-pacer Stephan Smith 2-39.
South Africa captain Josh Richards said he was happy with bowling and batting but wanted his side to sharpen up a bit in the field for the Australian clash on Wednesday.
"I felt we did well to pull it back from the beginning ? I thought the USA batted pretty well up front, and we just got our lengths a bit fuller than we would have liked, but we pulled it back quite nicely," he said.
In Christchurch, England was ruthless in completing a nine-wicket victory over Afghanistan, controlling the game from the outset. Opening bowler Nathan Buck destroyed the top order with three early wickets, including that of skipper Noor-ul-Haq.
The bright spot in Afghanistan's innings came from 15-year old Hashmat Shaidi who hit hard over the top and combined with Anwar Anwari for a fourth-wicket partnership of 41. But with off-spinner Azeem Rafiq and left-arm orthodox bowler Danny Briggs taking five wickets between them, Afghanistan was dismissed for 126.
Chasing 127, England's opening pair Chris Dent and Joe Root put on 52 runs off nine overs before Root was out. The incoming James Vince then picked up where he left off after his unbeaten 76 against Hong Kong, catching up with Dent as the two dealt harshly with any poor deliveries. The pair overhauled the target within 26 overs, Dent finishing unbeaten on 53, while Vince was 47 not out.
Man of the match Briggs said the win was a combined effort. "It was just an all-round team display. We fielded really well, and we got off to a good start with the bat, and after the lunch break we came out and played pretty aggressively ? the lads played well."
Less than 56 overs were required to complete the Group D match in Palmerston North, where Pakistan overtook Papua New Guinea's 99 in short order.
Pakistan stuttered slightly when they lost their first two wickets without a run on the board, but it was a straightforward chase after that ? Pakistan taking the opportunity to score aggressively and boost their net run rate. Muhammad Babar Azam and captain Azeem Ghumman both scored 40, the skipper's coming from a breezy 43 balls. The final runs came in just the 19th over.
Batting first, Papua New Guinea had struggled through to 99 all out within 38 overs. Two soft dismissals in the sixth over off Fayyaz Butt caused the top order to fail and the side never really recovered. For Pakistan Usman Qadir was almost unplayable on a spinning pitch, extracting turn and bounce to finish with four for 35 and take the man-of-the-match award.
Pakistan captain Azeem Ghumman said the match had gone pretty much according to plan, starting with an early dismissal of the opposition. "We could have done better if our openers had clicked," he said "But from 0-2, then the way we achieved the total, in the 18th over, it wasn't too bad."
In Christchurch, Sri Lanka captain Chatura Peiris was the chief destroyer for Sri Lanka in their 134-run win over Canada, capturing five wickets for 25. Sri Lanka got valuable batting time in today's match, making full use of their 50 overs to post 276-6, with Banuka Rajapaksa scoring a classy 68 and showing great footwork to the Canadian spinners. The total could have been much lower, however, with Canada spilling half a dozen chances.
Canada didn't start well in response, as Peiris ripped through the batting top order in a great opening spell of seam bowling. Opening bat Hiral Patel dug in with a stoic innings of 69 from 110 balls which included two towering sixes, but Canada could not endure past the 40th over, dismissed for 142.
In tomorrow's matches, Afghanistan plays Hong Kong in a Group A match at Christchurch, in Group B Ireland meets USA in Queenstown. In Group C, New Zealand and Zimbabwe square off at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln, in front of the ESPN STAR Sports cameras. Group D sees Papua New Guinea up against West Indies at Palmerston North.
With three days of group play remaining, some teams are now assured of a place in the Super League play-offs, although final standings have yet to be finalised. In Group A India and England are unassailable at the top of their group, as are Australia and South Africa in Group B. Group C should be the same, with New Zealand and Sri Lanka going through, as long as the host nation wins against Zimbabwe. Group D is less clear-cut, with Bangladesh, Pakistan and West Indies still vying for the two qualifying spots.
Pakistan v Papua New Guinea at Fitzherbert Park, Palmerston North
Papua New Guinea 99 all out in 37.3 overs (Tony Ura 23; Usman Qadir 4-35, Shahzaib Ahmed 2-8, Fayyaz Butt 2-12)
Pakistan 100 for 4 in 18.1 overs (Muhammad Babar 40 not out, Azeem Ghumman 40; Raymond Haoda 2-44)
Pakistan won by six wickets
Man of the match: Usman Qadir
England v Afghanistan at QEII Park, Christchurch
Afghanistan 126 all out in 47.2 overs (Hashmat Shaidi 41; Danny Briggs 3-15, Nathan Buck 3-18, Azeem Rafiq 2-29)
England 127 for 1 in 25.5 overs (Chris Dent 53 not out, James Vince 47 not out)
England won by nine wickets
Man of the match: Danny Briggs
South Africa v USA at Queenstown Events Centre, Queenstown
USA 163 all out in 49.5 overs (Gregory Sewdial 41; Dale Deeb 3-23, Graham Hume 3-29, Stephan Smith 2-39)
South Africa 166 for 2 in 35.1 overs (Dominic Hendricks 75 not out, Colin Ackermann 64 not out)
South Africa won by eight wickets
Man of the Match: Dominic Hendricks
Sri Lanka v Canada at Lincoln No.3, Lincoln
Sri Lanka 276 for 6 in 50 overs (Banuka Rajapaksa 68, Akshu Fernando 43 not out, Udara Jayasundera 43; Hiral Patel 3-45)
Canada 142 all out in 39.3 overs (Hiral Patel 69; Chatura Peiris 5-25, Udara Jayasundera 2-26)
Sri Lanka won by 134 runs
Man of the Match: Chatura Peiris
The up-to-date points table can be found at www.iccevents.yahoo.com