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England end preparations on a high

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England completed their Under-19 World Cup warm-up games with a comfortable 131-run victory over Zimbabwe in Brisbane, but it was not entirely straightforward for Adam Ball’s side.

Following yesterday’s five-wicket defeat of Pakistan, England were in trouble at 104 for seven midway through their innings today.

However, number nine Brett Hutton responded with 55, sharing half-century stands with Craig Overton and Tom Knight who hit 27 and 26 respectively.

Brett Hutton

Brett Hutton followed up his crucial 55 from number nine with three wickets as England fought back to beat Zimbabwe by 131 runs

Ben Duckett had held the innings together with 45 from number three before the lower-order recovery aided a total of 220 all out with two balls unused. Curthbert Musoko and Kyle Bowie respectively claimed four and three wickets.

England continued their momentum by reducing their opponents to 31 for five, Shozair Ali removing the opening batsmen and Hutton snaring the next three.

Only a trio reached double figures for Zimbabwe, who were dismissed in the 36th over. Hutton ended with figures of 3-28 from nine overs.

England next play on Saturday versus Australia in the opening round of group matches. The hosts lost yesterday to West Indies but today beat Scotland by 71 runs, having posted 315 for seven.

Australia’s Jimmy Peirson and opponent Mathew Cross made centuries while Scotland’s Aman Bailwal and opponent Gurinder Sandhu returned five-wicket hauls - the latter’s including a hat-trick.

England’s other group rivals are Ireland and Nepal. The former today lost to Sri Lanka, for whom Tharindu Kaushal took 6-20, by 50 runs and the latter suffered a 19-run defeat to New Zealand despite Naresh Budayair’s hundred.

Pakistan bounced back from yesterday’s loss due mainly to Sami Aslam’s ton, which aided an eight-wicket demolition of Papua New Guinea.

Chad Bowes’s unbeaten century guided South Africa to a four-wicket defeat of Bangladesh with a ball to spare, Sunil Ambris retired out after reaching three figures as West Indies thrashed Namibia by 146 runs and India saw off Afghanistan by 52 runs thanks principally to five wickets for Harmeet Singh.

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