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James looking forward to semi-final

James Rew and George Thomas both played their part as England comprehensively beat South Africa in the quarter-final of the Under 19 World Cup.

The Young Lions came out on top by six wickets with more than 100 balls to spare.

We spoke to James this afternoon to get his thoughts on the match.

“We knew that South Africa have some good players and Dewald Brevis batted extremely well, but our bowlers did really well to combat that,” he said.  “The guys kept taking wickets at the other end and kept them under pressure. Taking four quick wickets to get the tail out was important too. We did really well to bowl them out for just over 200.

“Jacob Bethell (88 from 42 balls) then took the game away from them and from that point on we didn’t look like losing. It really was a great performance all-round.

“210 is never an easy chase because there’s always scoreboard pressure. We were definitely in a good position at the break, but Jacob and George [Thomas] laid a great foundation. It was a brilliant innings from Jacob, and George certainly played his part at the other end. They just took the game away from them and helped us to a solid win. That game’s over now and we just have to focus on the next game. The win over South Africa doesn’t mean anything if we miss out on the final.”

Brevis looked set to make a fine century until he was dismissed on 97 by a fine catch by James.

“It wasn’t that good a catch,” he said modestly. “The commentator definitely made it out to be quite good, but it was a good piece of bowling from James Sales.”

England’s exceptional fielding was also a key element of the victory as James explains.

“We’ve spoken a lot about fielding during the tournament and this was definitely our best display so far. There were diving stops and we were really able to build up the pressure. To be honest, everything just came together and hopefully we can take that performance and improve on it in the semi-final.”

England will face Afghanistan on Tuesday, after they narrowly overcame Sri Lanka in a very close quarter-final.

“That was a really tight game,” said James. “We were following that pretty closely yesterday. They’ve got a good bowling attack and we’ll have to take a close look at that before we go up against them. We feel like we can limit their batsmen due to the way that we’ve been bowling so far. We will definitely need to bowl them out for a low score, and hopefully or batters can do what they’ve been doing in order to chase it down.”

What is the mood in the camp like ahead of the game?

“There’s a great atmosphere and everyone is enjoying each other’s company. The cricket is going nicely as well, so hopefully we can continue with that next week and win the semi-final.”

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