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Topley eyes knockout blow

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Reece Topley believes the ICC Under-19s World Cup entering the knockout stages will help England find their best form.

The young Lions take on South Africa in the quarter-finals tomorrow, having finished second in Group B behind hosts Australia.

They got their campaign off to a disappointing start in losing to the old enemy, but have since sealed predictably comfortable victories against Ireland and Nepal.

The Proteas are sure to provide a sterner examination than the latter two given they finished at the summit of Group D following three dominant performances.

“We are very confident,” he told ecb.co.uk. “We were a bit disappointed with the Australia game, but we have had some decent results.

Reece Topley

Reece Topley expects a tricky challenge when England U19s face South Africa tomorrow in the quarter-finals of the age-group World Cup

“We seem to have got back on the horse pretty well and things are going nicely. All of the batters and bowlers seem in good touch and I think we will be competitive.

“South Africa are a strong team, but, then again, so are we. It is knockout cricket and I think we can deliver our best cricket having not done so in the group stage.

“South Africa have been in fine form, but that run is going to have to come to an end at some point.

“I think that knockout cricket suits the way we play because we have got a lot of exciting, match-winning cricketers. I think that gives us an edge.”

Much of the attention will turn to Topley et al against a South African side that have impressed with the bat thus far.

The Essex left-arm seamer, however, is unsurprisingly confident having taken eight wickets in three games while enjoying an excellent economy rate.

“I think I have a habit of getting good players out,” he added. “I seem to have done that with Essex by getting the likes of (Marcus) Trescothick out.

“Hopefully I can continue that habit on Sunday; I am pleased with how things are going heading into the game and I am just really excited.

“In my eyes, I do not feel much pressure and I am going to keep going as I am. I have been taking wickets with the new ball and I have been really tight - I’ve gone at around two an over which is also very pleasing.”

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