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Brunnschweiler excited for series finale

England Development Programme (EDP) Under-17’s coach Iain Brunnschweiler is in confident mood ahead of his side’s deciding one-day international against their Sri Lankan counterparts on Saturday.

The Under-17s fought back from their opening five-wicket defeat earlier in the week with a convincing 73-run victory on Thursday, setting up a winner-takes-all third rubber.

And former Hampshire wicketkeeper Brunnschweiler believes his side has shown tremendous character to bounce back in their first taste of elite international competition.

He told "The boys are in fantastic spirits, particularly after a really impressive win on Thursday. I feel that we have a bit of momentum going in to the series decider.

"When we lost on Tuesday, the boys were obviously disappointed but they played some really really good cricket. We knew the areas where we let ourselves down, we reviewed it and put in a much better performance.

"I want to see them take the morale and spirit that they had in the second game into the final game, and I want them to enjoy the challenge, because if they enjoy it and put their skills on show they are going to do themselves justice."

The main aim of the series is to give the youngsters development opportunities, and for the coaches to monitor how they cope with difficult challenges.

Brunnschweiler has been delighted with how his boys have adapted to both on and off field issues throughout the series. Not only have they faced tricky opponents, they have also had to deal with receiving GCSE results on the morning of the second ODI.

The coach said: "It certainly adds another dynamic when you wake up the morning of a one day international Under-17 game and you’re worrying about your exam results.

"But that’s one of the challenges of working at this age group.

"It is a major part of our programme that they need to have dual aspirations; they need to be working hard on their school work while working towards being an elite cricketer and it is a difficult balancing act.

"Credit to the boys and listening to them talking I think most of them have done really well. It’s been incredible how they’ve been able to focus."

On the field, theur challenge has been a tough one.

"The Sri Lankans are excellent young cricketers," Brunnschweiler added. "They have provided outstanding opposition.

"They have a couple of brilliant spin bowlers and we’ve played them on dry tracks. That has provided a good opportunity for the players to test their skills against something that is very different to what they’ve come across before.

"The way they’ve played and improved over the course of a series has been really encouraging."


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