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Cricket: England’s Under 19s bid to emulate Key, Shah and Swann as World Cup final place is secured


England will face either old foes Australia or favourites India in this weekend’s final in Antigua after a nervy win over Afghanistan yesterday (Tuesday). 

A stunning campaign for captain Tom Prest and co continues following a 15-run Duckworth Lewis Stern victory over the up and coming Afghans, who have proved there is plenty more talent below Rashid Khan in their system. 

But it was an England leg-spinner, the Leicestershire starlet Rehan Ahmed, who gave his side the win. 

Needing 19 off two overs in pursuit of 231 in 47, Afghanistan were favourites with four wickets in hand. However, 17-year-old Ahmed, who made his first-team at Grace Road last summer, struck three times to ice the game and finish with 4-41 from six overs. 

The last time England won the World Cup in 1998, their squad included future international stars such as Rob Key, Owais Shah and Graeme Swann. Current ICC umpire Michael Gough was also involved. 

India (1/2 with bet365) face Australia (13/8) in the other semi-final today. 

After a so far disastrous winter for the senior men’s side, the pursuit of glory now rests with their juniors and England’s senior women, who start the one-day international leg of their Ashes series on Thursday with a 4-2 deficit in the multi-format, points based clash. 

With two points for a win, they must win all three games to regain the Urn.