AHMED A SPINBALL WIZARD
ENGLAND beat Afghanistan by 15 runs to book their spot in the Under-19 World Cup Final – thanks to 17-year-old spinner Rehan Ahmed.
Tom Prest’s side held their nerve to end England’s 24-year wait to make a final appearance at this age group.
Now they will meet either India or Australia – who meet today – in Antigua on Saturday.
Skipper Prest (top, left) said: “The guys showed great composure under pressure. I cannot believe we are in the final. I’m very proud.”
The last-four tie was in the balance before England’s leg spinner Ahmed (right) took three wickets in the penultimate over.
Chasing England’s 231-6, courtesy of unbeaten half-centuries from George Bell and Alex Horton, Afghanistan were in the chase in a rain-affected game reduced to 47 overs.
And Afghanistan were right in the hunt before Ahmed, who finished with 4-41, took over as they fell short.
Bell, whose 95-run partnership with keeper Horton made the difference, said: “It was about staying calm as a team. I get quite hyper myself so it was hard trying not to panic in the end. Thankfully we held our nerve to get through.”