Overton confident of final spot
With three Quadrangular Series victories from three, England Under-19s are firm favourites for their semi-final with winless India in Townsville tomorrow.
Adam Ball’s side beat India by four wickets at Endeavour Park on Monday to finish top of the round-robin pool and set up a rematch at the Tony Ireland Stadium.
Sunday’s final or third-place play off awaits, against either Australia or New Zealand whose semi is also tomorrow.
Craig Overton, who played a crucial role in the India triumph - his first appearance of the competition, is feeling positive about England’s prospects.
Coming in at 124 for three in pursuit of 269, the Somerset right-hander added 91 alongside Ben Foakes and oversaw victory with two balls to spare courtesy of an inspired 68 not out from 67 deliveries.
“It was good to see the team home and score some runs. I’m feeling really good,” Overton, who turned 18 on Tuesday, told ecb.co.uk.
Having pushed England so hard on Monday, Overton is ready for India to again be tricky opponents.
“We’re expecting a tough game,” he continued. “We know what to expect.”
England began the tournament by defeating hosts Australia thanks to an outstanding unbeaten century by Daniel Bell-Drummond, who overcame the swinging ball in energy-sapping humid heat.
Bell-Drummond’s 103 not out made him England U19’s highest run-maker and earned a three-wicket win with 3.3 overs outstanding.
England’s bowlers then dominated a nine-wicket demolition of New Zealand, who were dismissed for 78 with seamer Aneesh Kapil taking 4-6 from five overs.
“It was good to get three wins under our belts. Things are going well,” Overton, whose twin brother Jamie is also in the squad, said.
“Against Australia we did well to keep them to 203. It was a really good win versus New Zealand, bowling them out for 78, and a hard-fought victory over India with two balls to spare.”
Craig believes the Quadrangular Series is ideal preparation for August’s U19 World Cup, which will be played at the same venues.
Australia are again England’s first opponents, followed by two more group games versus Ireland and Nepal.
Finishing first or second in the pool will earn qualification for the main quarter-finals, with the plate competition a consolation for those coming third and fourth.
“It’s been excellent to get to know our surroundings before the World Cup,” he added. “Its’ good to get to know what conditions will be like.”