- Focus on Zimbabwe’s Wesley Madhevere with the ball and England’s Eoin Morgan with the bat
Eoin Morgan is best known for leading England to ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 glory but after scoring a hatful of runs when representing Ireland, he is the leading run scorer in ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cups.
Morgan would become Ireland’s youngest ever senior international but before that he starred in both the 2004 and 2006 ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cups.
Morgan’s first World Cup game came against the West Indies and batting at No.3 he managed just five runs from 16 balls as Ireland came agonisingly close to an upset.
The men in green were six runs short of chasing down the West Indies’ 265 for eight with Kevin O’Brien’s 95 not enough to get them over the line.
Morgan fared little better next time out, scoring 12 in a heavy eight-wicket defeat to Pakistan before misfiring against Papua New Guinea, as he was trapped lbw for 11 off 18, albeit in a winning cause.
He cashed in against Uganda, notching a century and finishing with 117 off 129 balls as Ireland’s 329 for nine proved to be far too many for their African opponents.
Morgan showcased his all-round ability against Canada, first making 44 off 57 balls as Ireland posted 265 for nine.
He was then named player of the match after taking three catches and two for 26 from ten overs with his right arm medium bowling – something he would leave behind as he headed into the senior ranks.
Morgan was run out for 14 against Bangladesh as his side were bowled out for 141 and went on to lose by eight wickets.
But he rounded off his first tournament with 65 from 69 balls against Australia in the plate semi-final, top scoring for Ireland as they went down by 49 runs to a side captained by Tim Paine.
Morgan finished with 268 runs from seven innings with an average of 38.28 but would kick on to greater heights when he returned to the international stage two years later as Ireland captain.
It was an unlucky 13 for Morgan to start with at the 2006 edition in Sri Lanka as Ireland collapsed to 97 all out in reply to Zimbabwe’s 215 for seven in their opener.
Three days later and Morgan chipped in with 28 but was unable to prevent his side losing a nail biter by four runs against an England side led by Moeen Ali.
Morgan hit his straps with 86 off 107 against Nepal the following day but his side were still beaten by 60 runs having conceded 234.
A century followed against New Zealand on Valentine’s Day as his Ireland side crossed the 300-barrier but despite Morgan’s 124 off 126 balls, his side lost by three wickets.
After bowling out Namibia for 115, Ireland won by six wickets with Morgan contributing 27 before he made 60 not out to steer his side to another victory by the same margin as they chased down 166 to beat Uganda to round off the campaign.
Morgan’s tally of 338 runs from six matches made him the second highest run scorer of the tournament, only 11 behind India’s Cheteshwar Pujara, and his combined haul of 606 runs across the two tournaments makes him the most prolific youngster with the bat.
Morgan may have shown his prowess with the ball as a teenager, but it is Zimbabwe’s Wesley Madhevere who is the leading wicket-taker at ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cups.
The off spinner is no slouch with the bat, often opening the innings for his country, making him a prolific all-rounder.
A prodigious talent, Madhevere featured at the 2016 ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup aged just 15.
And in keeping with the phrase, ‘if you are good enough, you’re old enough’, Madhevere kicked off his tournament by taking five for 24 to help dismiss Fiji for 81.
Madhevere took another wicket in the 129-run defeat to England next up, recording impressive figures of one for 53 from his ten overs given his opponents racked up 288 for four from their innings.
He was back in the wickets with two for 48 in the narrow two-run defeat against the West Indies before chipping in with one for 40 in the six-wicket win over Canada.
Another wicket came in the heavy victory over South Africa before he capped a fine tournament at such a young age with a miserly spell of none for 24 off ten overs in the five-wicket defeat to Afghanistan.
With ten wickets from his first tournament at 21.20, Madhevere returned in 2018 and again started with a bang.
He bagged the player of the match award after taking three for 19 to help bowl Papua New Guinea out for 90 before smashing 53 not out from 44 balls to deliver a ten-wicket triumph.
Madhevere chipped in with another wicket in the defeat to Australia before the ten-wicket reverse to India was followed by figures of two for 11 from six overs with the ball and 47 with the bat in the win over Namibia.
He missed out with both bat and ball against Sri Lanka before bouncing back in phenomenal style, taking four for 24 and smashing 93 in the 138-run win over Canada to round off the tournament.
Madhevere was named as the ICC’s rising star of the tournament after taking ten wickets at 12.80 and returned for his third consecutive U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2020.
However, it took him until the third game against Scotland to pick up his first wicket, with one more coming in a win over Canada before he came to the fore in the defeat to England with four for 42 from ten overs.
Madhevere finished off with two for 18 against Scotland in the 11th place play-off to take his tally to 28 and leave him as the man to beat when it comes to the world’s best young bowlers.