Hosts New Zealand face England in Queenstown on Tuesday to decide who finishes in seventh place at the 2018 ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup.
New Zealand started the tournament with three wins in their group matches, defeating West Indies, Kenya and South Africa by sizeable margins to finish top of Group A. They would have been feeling very confident going into their quarter-final against Afghanistan U19 but a brilliant bowling display from Mujeeb Zadran saw them bowled out for 107 chasing 310 to win. A loss to South Africa in the 5th place playoff semi-final means they are fighting it out for seventh with England.
England also got through the group stages undefeated, with wins over Namibia, Bangladesh and Canada seeing them finish the top of their group. However, they too came across a spinner in fine form in the quarter-finals, with Lloyd Pope claiming an incredible 8/35 to see Australia to victory. England met Bangladesh again in the 5th Place Play Off semi-final but they struggled with the bat in the first innings, making a sub-par 216 all out, which Bangladesh chased for the loss of five wickets.
Players to watch
New Zealand U19’s leading run scorer in the tournament, and the man with the highest score in U19 ODIs, Jakob Bhula has caused a stir at this event. He followed up that 180 against Kenya U19 with 44 against South Africa in the final group game, but he hasn’t made as much of an impact in the knockout stages. He will be looking to come back from the duck he made in his last match against South Africa U19.
England’s opening bowler has impressed with his performances at this tournament thus far, and he will be hoping he can get some early wickets in this match to get England off to a good start. With a solid action and decent pace, Bamber has got the ball to move around in New Zealand conditions, with his best effort coming against Bangladesh U19 where he claimed 3/19.
World Cup history
England are one of six teams to have appeared at every ICC U19 CWC. They won the first ‘rebooted’ ICC tournament in 1998 – Graeme Swann among a squad containing five future internationals – but they haven’t made the final since. They’ve become the nearly men, falling four times at the semi-final stage.
New Zealand are yet to win the U19 Cricket World Cup. The last time it was played in these shores, they came close, losing in the quarter-finals to eventual champions Australia. The highest they have ever placed is in 1998, when they were runners up to England. They have, however, benefited hugely from the tournament, with a huge number of the current senior setup – Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor and Tom Latham among them – graduating from the Under 19 side.
Head to head
There have been 24 previous meetings between these two teams at this level, with England U19 having the better of the contests, winning 13 and losing eight. The most recent of those came at the 2014 ICC U19 World Cup where England U19 won by 115 runs thanks to 83 from Ryan Higgins.
It is set to be a sunny and cloudless day in Queenstown with temperatures reaching 30°C, with very little chance of rain arriving to spoil things.
New Zealand: Kaylum Boshier (c), Finn Allen, Jakob Bhula, Max Chu, Katene Clarke, Matthew Fisher, Luke Georgeson, Ben Lockrose, Callum McLachlan, Felix Murray, Sandeep Patel, Dale Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Connor Sullivan, Todd Watson.
England: Harry Brooks (cap), Ethan Bamber, Liam Banks, Tom Banton, Jack Davies, Adam Finch, Luke Hollman, Will Jacks, Dillon Pennington, Savin Perera, Tom Scriven, Prem Sisodiya, Fin Trenouth, Roman Walker, Euan Woods.