Townsville: Australia opener Cameron Bancroft scored a half-century to help Australia beat South Africa by four wickets and seal a berth in the final of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup at the Tony Ireland Stadium here on Tuesday.

Australia overcame a late charge by South Africa to achieve the target of 192 with nine balls to spare.

Bancroft scored a fine 66, besides featuring in a match-winning 95-run third wicket partnership with Kurtis Patterson (46) after the defending champion had slipped to three for two in two overs in its run-chase.

Australia will take on the winner of the other semifinal between India and New Zealand, in the final, which is scheduled to be played Sunday.

The loser of Thursday's semifinal match will meet South Africa for the third-fourth position play-off on Saturday.

Australia, who are bidding to become only the second side after Pakistan to win back-to-back titles, made a good start after captain Will Bosisto won the toss and elected to bowl in overcast conditions here.

Joel Paris and Mark Steketee both struck early with the new ball to remove South Africa's in-form Quinton de Kock (1) and Gihahn Cloete (0).

Steketee returned for his second spell and took the crucial wicket of Proteas captain Chad Bowes (46), who had struck up a handy partnership of 88 with Murray Coetzee.

Coetzee (50) went on to make his second half-century of the tournament before he was run-out from a direct hit by Ashton Turner.

Gurinder Sandhu maintained a good line and length, ending with the impressive figures of two for 23 from 10 overs, featuring three maidens.

Steketee claimed three for 35 from his ten overs.

In reply, Australia lost the early wickets of James Peirson and Meyrick Buchanan to be in strife at two for three.

However, Bancroft and Patterson both soaked up the occasion and repaired the damage before Patterson was caught behind by de Kock for 49.

Bosisto once again showed his class at the crease as he and Bancroft chipped away for a fourth wicket stand of 75 before the latter was run out for 66 (133b, 5x4, 1x6).

Bosisto looked likely to take Australia through to the win but he was run out by Theunis de Bruyn for 40 as the home side slipped from 173 for three to 188 for six, before Turner hit a four through extra cover to seal the win for his side.

Meanwhile, England defeated Bangladesh to set up a fifth-sixth position play-off match with the winner of the Pakistan-West Indies game.

A brilliant century by Litton Das, who also featured in a 113-run second wicket stand with captain Amanul Haque, went in vain as Bangladesh lost by four wickets at Endeavour Park 2.

Batting first, Bangladesh was cruising at 122 for one in the 27th over before it choked for the second successive time and finished on 217 for seven, with the last 22 overs producing just 95 runs.

Litton hit nine fours and a six in a 134-ball 102, while Amanul maintained his fine form to score 56 off 80 balls with eight fours.

Amanul has scored 237 runs in five matches and is the third leading run-getter in the tournament.

England's left-arm fast bowler Reece Topley was the most impressive bowler with figures of 10-0-32-5.

In turn, even contributions by Ben Foakes (47), Sam Wood (46), Adam Ball (34 not out) and Aneesh Kapil (33 not out) ensured England crossed the finish-line with 10 balls and four wickets to spare.

Topley, who now leads the wicket-takers' list with 16 wickets, was adjudged player of the match.

Brief scores:

SA: 191 for 8 in 50 overs (Murray Coetzee 50, Chad Bowes 46; Mark Steketee 3/35, Gurinder Sandhu 2/23) lost to Australia: 193 for 6 in 48.3 overs (Cameron Bancroft 66, Kurtis Patterson 49, Will Bosisto 40; Lizaad Williams 3/40).

Bangladesh: 217 for 7 in 50 overs (Litton Das 102, Anamul Haque 56, Salman Hossain 26; Reece Topley 5/32) lost to England: 218 for 6 in 48.2 overs (Ben Foakes 47, Sam Wood 46, Adam Ball 34 not out; Taskin Ahmed 2/66).


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