Kimberley cricket ground
Kimberley's Diamond Oval was the scene for an impressive World Cup knock from a young Aussie batter. Image by AP PHOTO
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Konstas cracks ton as Aussies make U19 World Cup semis

Ian Chadband February 3, 2024

Australia’s young cricket guns have sealed their place in the semi-finals of the U19 World Cup, parading another centurion as they topped their group in South Africa.

Sam Konstas became their second century-maker of the tournament in the space of three days at Kimberley on Friday, but the rains came to ensure their final Super Six group match against the West Indies was washed out as a no-result.

It didn’t stop the Aussie teenagers finishing top of their section, ensuring they’ll play the second-ranked team from the other group in the last-four which looks set to be an impressive Pakistan side.

Australia, coming off four straight wins at the event, made hard work of getting to 8-227 on a difficult pitch on Friday, with five batters getting into double figures but unable to give any substantial help to Konstas.

Two days after captain Hugh Weibgen had scored 120 to set up the win over England, this time it was Konstas’s turn to play the rock.

Coming in at No.3, the 18-year-old Sydneysider who’s already made his first-class debut for NSW, had to call on all his reserves of skill as his team crumbled to 5-87.

“Sam batted unbelievably well. It was just about forging partnerships for a period of time, which they were able to do and get us up to a competitive score,” said Weibgen.

Konstas and Raf MacMillan performed the real rescue act, putting on 89 for the sixth wicket. MacMillan made a valuable 29 off 51 balls, while Konstas chose his moments to go on the attack, striking 11 fours and a six in his 108, compiled off 121 balls. 

It enabled Australia to reach a defendable total at Kimberley, which quickly looked even better when paceman Charlie Anderson snaffled two West Indies wickets in his first three overs.

But with the Windies rocking at 2-24, the rains came to ruin a fascinating contest, leaving the Australians satisfied they’re still defending an unbeaten record going into the semis.