After Jonathan Merlo bagged a four-wicket haul before opener Jack Edwards struck a quick-fire half-century as Australia thrashed Afghanistan by six wickets to storm into the final of the ICC Under-19 World Cup here at the Christchurch on Monday.
Chasing a modest target of 182 runs in the first Super League semi-final, Edwards hammered 72 runs off 65 balls, including eight boundaries and two sixes, to back up the effort from the bowlers, lead by Merlo's four wickets.
After losing opener Max Bryant cheaply for four runs, Edwards shared a crucial 77-run partnership for the third wicket with captain Jason Sangha (26) to break the back of the run chase.
Subsequently, Param Uppal and Nathan McSweeney contributed unbeaten 32 and 22 runs to help Australia chase down the target in 37.3 overs.
Earlier, Merlo finished with the figures four for 24 while Zak Evans (two for 26), Ryan Hadley (one for 17), Edwards (one for 16), Will Sutherland (one for 41) and Lloyd Pope (one for 34) all contributed with the ball to bundle out Afghanistan for 181.
Ikram Ali Khil was the highest scorer for Afghanistan with his blistering 80-run knock, including eight boundaries.
Edwards was adjudged `Man of the Match` for his brilliant contribution with both bat and ball.
While Australia will meet India or Pakistan in Tauranga on February 3, while Afghanistan will play the third-place match on February 1 in Queenstown.