Cricket: Jason Sangha first Novocastrian to captain China in Under-19 World Cup final

HIGH FIVES: , including Novocastrian captain Jason Sangha (No.12), during Monday’s semi-final win against Afghanistan in New Zealand. They now advance to Saturday’s Under-19 World Cup decider. Picture: Twitter via @CApathwayJason Sangha will become the first Novocastrian to captain in an Under-19 World Cup final after his side booked a place in Saturday’s decider in New Zealand.

The former Newcastle representative, Wallsend first grader and Southern Lakes junior will lead his team onto Mount Maunganui’sBay Oval following a six-wicket semi-final victoryover Afghanistan on Monday.

will now meet the winner of Tuesday’s top-four showdown between India and Pakistan.

This weekend will mark the fifth time have played in the final of the 30-year-old tournament.

GeoffParker (1988), Cameron White (2002), Mitchell Marsh (2010) and William Bosito (2012) are those to previously skipper in deciders.

Sangha hopes to become the first general to hold the trophy aloft for in eight years and a record fourth in total.

The chance comes just a week after were almost knockedout of the competition at the quarter-final stage.

Dismissed for 127, including Sangha’s top score of 58, opponents England were 0-47 in reply before leg-spinner Lloyd Pope claimed 8-35 in a stunning 31-run triumph.

Sangha also took threeoutstanding catches in a row at first slip off Pope as England were skittled for 96 and completed a great escape.

Now, combined with Monday’s semi in Christchurch and a second-placed finish in the earlier group stage, are one win away from claiming the 2018 title.

To make the main event Sangha, batting at No.3, scored 26 in a 77-run second-wicket partnership with opener Jack Edwards (72 off 65) chasing down Afghanistan’s181 in the 38thover.

Sangha came to the crease at 1-26 and compiled his knock off 38 deliveries before being caught and bowled by spinner Qais Ahmad (2-35).

However, Edwards was the mainstay and helaunched a counter attack on tweakers Ahmad, Zahir Khan and Mujeeb Zadran, just days after Afghanistanrolled hosts New Zealand for 107.

“There was the danger of the mystique around their bowlers,” Edwards said.

“We had the opportunity to get footage from the New Zealand game and deconstruct the different change-ups in their varieties.

“Seeing a lot of footage really helped. I thought we played them really well and picked them most the time today.”

Edwards struck 10 boundaries, featuringtwo maximums,before he played on to Ahmed with within sight of the target.

Edwards’s half-century, matching Sangha’s two for the carnival,came after he claimed the key Afghan wicket of No.3 Ikram Ali Khil for 80.Seamer Jonathan Merlo returned 4-24 for the Aussies.

missed the 2016 Under-19 World Cup and were fourth four years ago.

Monday’sresult ended a fairytale run for Afghanistan, who backed up last year’s Asian Cup success with the country’s first semi-final appearance in any global top-tier cricket tournament.

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