By Adam Ellis
Leg-spinner Lloyd Pope dismantled England U19 to end their World Cup journey at the quarter-final stage, after dismissing Australia for 127.
Ethan Bamber (Middlesex), Dillon Pennington (Worcestershire/Shropshire) and Will Jacks (Surrey) all claimed three wickets apiece in Queenstown to get England off to a good start.
Only Australia captain Jason Sangha backed up the decision to bat first at the toss with a score of 58, as seven batsmen failed to reach double digits.
England would match their opponents in faltering with the bat chasing 128 to reach the semi-finals.
Tom Banton played aggressively in marching the partnership for the opening wicket towards a half-century, falling three short as Liam Banks became the first casualty of ‘Wizard’.
Pope, with his long hair and display of leg-spin, googlies and quicker-balls, then played a pivotal role in sending England out of the competition after losing nine wickets for 49 runs.
The largest partnership that followed in resistance to Pope was the 20 runs mustered for the fourth wicket between Banton and Jacks.
Pope’s stunning figures of 8-35 sets a new record at U19 Cricket World Cups and led the Australia media to label his performance as a ‘miracle’ in bowling England all out for 98.
After the match, Pope said: “I like putting myself in pressure scenarios. I feel like I bowl better under pressure.
“It gives me confidence my captain is looking for me to advance the game, put me in early and have the faith in me to land a ball straight away and take some wickets. I love those scenarios. It’s cricket, it’s fun,” Pope commented, introduced to the attack in the sixth over by Sangha.