U19 World Cup: UAE after win
A relieved UAE Under-19 team after beating Uganda to make the Plate semi-finals of the Youth World Cup. Image Credit: Twitter/ICC

Dubai: United Arab Emirates and Ireland took their places in the Plate semi-finals as the next stage of the ICC Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup got off to a thrilling start in Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday.

UAE survived a dramatic batting collapse to edge past Uganda by a wicket and set up a clash with either host nation West Indies or Papua New Guinea in the next round. Philippus le Roux was Ireland’s hero, scoring a vital unbeaten 83 to help his side post a total which proved beyond Canada. Ireland will now meet the winners of Wednesday’s clash between Zimbabwe and Scotland while Canada join Uganda in the Plate play-off semis.

Adhitya Shetty shone with the ball and held his nerve with the bat as the UAE recovered from a collapse to overcome Uganda by one wicket. Shetty took four wickets to help dismiss Uganda for 123 and later saw his side home with the bat during a nail-biting finish in Port of Spain.

Uganda opted to bat and started cautiously, adding 30 for the opening wicket before Ronald Opio was trapped in front by Shetty in the 11th over. The leg-spinner went on to claim Uganda skipper Pascal Murungi (23) among his other scalps, finishing with four for 29 from his 10 overs to keep the batting side in check. Ronald Lutaaya displayed resistance in his 25 but when he was run out, Uganda lost their final five wickets for the addition of just 38 runs – Aayan Afzal Khan mopping up the tail with two for seven.

UAE made a strong start to their pursuit of 124, Kai Smith hitting five boundaries in a fluent 25, and were almost halfway to their target in the 15th over for the loss of just Smith. However, fortunes swung in Uganda’s direction in the space of 14 balls as UAE fell from 61 for one to 62 for five.

Matthew Musinguzi and Joseph Baguma were the destroyers-in-chief and finished with three wickets apiece to set up a thrilling finish. Khan’s 22 and a patient 63-ball 15 from Soorya Sathish gave UAE hope but both fell to Edwin Nuwagaba to put Uganda back in the driving seat.

Shetty, who came in next, made the scores level by striking two boundaries. Jash Giyanani, their number 11, then swept to the mid-wicket fence to complete the job with 9.3 overs to spare.