DHAKA - A fine performance by Sri Lanka's spinners was capped by a stroke-filled 95 from opener Avishka Fernando as they brushed England aside by six wickets to move into the semi-final of the Under-19 World Cup.

England had won the toss and opted to bat, a decision their captain Brad Taylor defended quite strongly at the presentation. "We didn't think it did an awful lot early," he said and thought 250 could have been within their reach had the middle overs gone better. As such they were all out for 184 without facing their full quota of overs.

Not that the first few overs went England's way either. Opener Dan Lawrence dragged one onto his stumps for 9, his partner Max Holden was caught at slip for 8 and the tournament's top scorer Jack Burnham could only manage 11 at No. 3. Callum Taylor tried to resurrect the innings with 42 off 57 balls, but his wicket triggered a middle-order collapse. What would rankle England more was the ball that got Taylor lbw had pitched outside leg stump while he was playing a shot. England fell from 120 for 4 in the 35th over to 136 for 7 in the 40th as Sri Lanka strangled the innings with spin. Legbreak bowler Wanidu Hasaranga picked up 3 for 34.

Out walked the Sri Lanka openers and cashed in 51 runs in eight overs before the lunch break. Avishka battered left-arm seamer Sam Curran for four successive fours in the third over and never looked back. He got to his 50 off 44 balls and looked set for a hundred until he chose to swipe at a bouncer he had originally seemed to duck under and was caught behind for 95. It was only a minor roadblock for Sri Lanka though, who coasted to victory with six wickets and 86 balls to spare.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka Under-19s 186 for 4 (Avishka 95) beat England Under-19s 184 (Taylor 42, Hasaranga 3-34) by six wickets