England U-19 team qualified for the final of the World Cup after defeating Afghanistan by 15 runs on Tuesday. Tom Prest and company will now face the winner of the India and Australia semifinal at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound in Antigua on Saturday. 

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On Tuesday, spinner Rehan Ahmed led the Young Lions’ win. He picked three key wickets in the penultimate over when West Indies needed 18 runs off 10 balls. While England head to the finals, Afghanistan will play at the Coolidge Cricket Ground for the third-place playoff.

The rain-hit match was reduced to 47 overs per side. 

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For England, who were reduced to 100/5 at one stage, George Thomas scored a patient 50. Their lower-order batsmen George Bell and Alex Horton stitched a 95-run partnership and managed to take the first innings total to 231 runs. 

Afghanistan’s Noor Ahmad and Naveed Zadran picked two wickets each. 

Chasing for a place in their first ever U-19 World Cup final, Afghanistan lost opener Nangeyalia Kharote on the third delivery of the innings. Allah Noor, their No 3, then hit eight boundaries during his 80-ball 67. He and Mohammad Ishaq (43)  got their team past 90. However, no other Afghan crossed the 40-run mark. 

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England’s Rehan Ahmed picked four wickets in his six overs. 

Player of the match, George Bell said,”I just tried to keep it steady for a while, so that we could capitalise at the back end. Horton played exceptionally well. It was very challenging (to play the Afghanistan spinners). When you know they play the Big Bash, you know they are very good. We targeted their seamers, we knew it would be tough against their spinners, so that was the plan. After that big over (from Sales), it was about staying calm. Skipper did a great job of keeping everyone calm.”