England Under-19s qualified for Monday’s Tri-Series final versus Pakistan as Ryan Higgins’ unbeaten century guided them to a comfortable nine-wicket win over Bangladesh at New Road.
Although England face Pakistan tomorrow at Derby in the last round-robin game, this was a winner-takes-all contest with the Tigers starting the match a point ahead of their opponents.
Higgins, who was unbeaten on 112 from 102 balls, and opening batsman Jonathan Tattersall steered the hosts to victory with an unbroken stand of 183 after Harry Finch went cheaply to Rifat Pradhan.
Despite winning the toss, Bangladesh were limited to 198 all out in 50 overs by disciplined bowling and fielding.
Matthew Fisher did the early damage with two scalps to leave the Tigers 15 for three in the sixth over.
Captain Mehedy Hasan and Nazmul Hossain Shanto rebuilt with 29 and 33 respectively, but Will Rhodes’ three wickets and one more for Fisher undermined the innings as Joyraz Sheik top-scored with 47.
Fisher took 3-33 and Rhodes 3-37 before Tattersall underpinned the reply with 73 not out as victory came with 9.1 overs to spare.
Higgins, who hit 13 fours and three sixes, said: “I’m pretty happy. It’s been a while coming. I felt good in the games before and now I’m putting it into practice, getting it done.
“It’s a pretty good deck. Just getting through the new ball was quite key. After that it was easy batting really, just trying to hit the ball straight down the ground. It’s good to see Tatts gets some runs as well.”
England will be familiar with Pakistan by the time they meet tomorrow in a day/night fixture and the daytime final at Trent Bridge.
“We’ve got a game against them tomorrow so we can try and look to build from this into tomorrow and then obviously into the final,” Higgins added.
“I think the main thing is trying to get our basics right with the ball and in the field. I think the batting has always looked pretty strong so far so we just need to build, just keep the batting going and if we get our bowling right I think we’ll do alright.”
As for Pakistan’s strengths, he said: “Personally I feel it’s their batting. Their bowling attack’s no better than ours. I think their batters have gone on and got big hundreds and that’s what we’ve got to try and replicate.”