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Great effort by U19s

Posted in England U19s

Ben Foakes Man Of Match V Nepal

Ben Foakes getting man of the match v Nepal

After a few days to recover from jet lag we began our quest to win the U19 World Cup with a few training sessions in the lead up to our first warm up game against Pakistan.

We managed to get an impressive win against the sub-continent side as we chased down 280 with five wickets in hand. This was aided by a swashbuckling 91 made by Dan Bell-Drummond and 133 by myself.

We then headed to the Queensland University ground to play our other warm-up before the tournament got under way against Zimbabwe. We rested a few guys who had had a decent run out the previous game and managed to bowl our way to a victory of over 100 runs thanks to 50 from Brett Hutton down the order and an inspired bowling spell from Shozair Ali.

Having won two from two in the practice matches we entered the opening game against Australia with high hopes. Unfortunately losing the toss and being put in on a lively pitch we lost early wickets and were bowled out for 140.

In reply the ball was still offering enough to enable us to have the home side 54-4, however that was the end of the wicket serge as Basisto and Head carried the Aussies over the line.

Knowing we had to win our remaining two games we got off to a great start by beating Ireland by seven wickets chasing down 109. The main contributors in the game were Topley picking up three wickets, and Kapil and Craig Overton scoring 31 and 26 not out respectively.

We then secured our place in the quarter-final by beating Nepal by 127 runs. After setting them 275 to win, 55 from Ben Duckett and 92 myself, we bowled the Associate member country out for 147 largely down to Shozair Ali's 4 for 37 off 10 overs.

Facing the ‘in-form’ South Africa in the quarter-finals we bowled first having won the toss. Thanks to three wickets from Reece (Topley) and two from Craig Overton we found ourselves chasing 245 to reach the semi-finals. After getting off to a cautious, however, solid start we reached 102 before the second wicket fell when I was out for 54 in the 27th over.

Requiring 140 in 23 overs with eight wickets remaining we had a collapse and the next eight wickets went for just 39 runs leaving us on 141 all out in the 40th over.

Having been knocked out the day before we found ourselves in a difficult situation having to wake up the next day and participate in play off matches to determine world rankings for the ICC U19 World Cup in 2014

Thanks to some quality bowling by Reece, coming back at the death and taking five wickets, we were set a modest total of 218 to win. Forties from Sam Wood and myself and 30's by Adam Ball and Aneesh Kapil saw us home by four wickets.

This was a great effort by the lads as it was obviously tough to get ourselves up for the match having been knocked out of the main prize 14 hours earlier. This win meant we would play West Indies in the 5th place play- off game.

A magnificent 104 from Sam Wood saw us post 241. In reply the West Indies made 228 all out in a close game in which a good team bowling performance kept them from reaching our total.

This result meant we finished 5th having won six out of eight during our time in Australia. Townsville was a brilliant place to play our games and although there were some lively wickets we also had some good contests between bat and ball.

We all thoroughly enjoyed our time on and off the field in Townsville and although we didn’t win the tournament we can take some comfort in the fact that our Under 19 side had won 10 from the last 13 games we had played together including the Quad series earlier in the year; which is a great effort, especially when you look at the calibre of the sides we had faced.