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Cricket: Powell quells Namibian quest

The England Under-19 side scraped home by three wickets against the rank outsiders, Namibia, in the second round of matches in the Under- 19 World Cup in Randjesfontein, South Africa, yesterday.

Chasing a modest 162 to win, England were cruising on 122 for 2 with the captain, Owais Shah, and the recalled Robert Key looking comfortable against a weak attack. However, a combination of bad shots and superb catching by the underdogs sent England reeling to 154 for 7 before the Essex off-spinner Jonathan Powell on-drove Shaun Gericke for four to win the match.

Victory over Bangladesh tomorrow for their third win in three games would take England into the Super League stage as the Group Two winners, where they would almost certainly play South Africa in Cape Town in one of their three matches.

Put in to bat, Namibia were struggling on 21 for 3 in the ninth over after two early strikes from Paul Franks, who finished with 3 for 19 from seven overs. But their captain, Duane Viljoen (33), and Bjorn Kotze (38) put together a stand of 56 for the fourth wicket, assisted by some poor medium-pace bowling from Giles Haywood as Namibia amassed a respectable total. In reply, Shah was England's top scorer with 40 as they eventually struggled home.

MTN UNDER-19 WORLD CUP Group Two (Randjesfontein): Namibia 161 for 9; England 162 for 7 (R Scholtz 5-29). England won by three wickets.