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U19CWC Report Card: England

England finished seventh at the ICC Under 19 World Cup in New Zealand after their tournament turned on a spell of 8/35 by Australia's Lloyd Pope.
England U19s

Results summary:

Group stage

Beat Namibia by 8 wickets

Beat Bangladesh by 7 wickets

Beat Canada by 282 runs

Quarter-final 1

Lost to Australia by 31 runs

Fifth place play-off

Lost to Bangladesh by 5 wickets

Seventh place play-off

Beat New Zealand by 32 runs

Positives to take home?

England's tournament turned on a remarkable spell of leg-spin bowling from Australia's Lloyd Pope, who took 8/35 – the best bowling figures in the tournament's history – to skittle England for 96 in the quarter-final. That match was a crushing disappointment for England, but there were some positives to take from the tournament overall.

England were dominant in the group stages, comfortably beating Namibia, Bangladesh and Canada, while they also beat hosts New Zealand to seal seventh place and finish on a high with a good all-round team performance.

There were plenty of impressive batting displays along the way. Captain Harry Brook, Tom Banton and Liam Banks all scored centuries and passed 200 runs in the tournament while scoring at strike-rates of around 100. 

Meanwhile, Euan Woods and Ethan Bamber both took eight wickets at impressive averages of 12.87 and 13.50 respectively and with economy rates of 3.61 and 3.85. 

Video
Match Highlights: England overcome hosts New Zealand to claim 7th place

Areas for improvement?

England have been the 'nearly' side of the U19 World Cup for too long. They have failed to reach the final since winning the tournament in 1998 and the 2018 edition was ultimately another disappointment. 

While Lloyd bowled exceptionally well to clinch the quarter-final, some of England's players were guilty of poor shots with the game in the balance. Chasing just 127 to win, there was plenty of time left to reach the target after Banton (58) had got the side off to a strong start. Had they weathered the storm they might have gone further in the competition. 

Equally, having beaten Bangladesh comfortably in the group stages, England will have been disappointed to lose the fifth place play-off, with only four batsmen making it past single figures. 

Video
England collapse from 47/0 to 96 all out against Australia at U19CWC

Rising star?

Harry Brook was having an excellent tournament up until he was dropped for England's final match against New Zealand. The England captain ended the tournament on a sour note after he broke team rules.

Despite his indiscretion, Brook ended the competition with 239 runs at a strike-rate of 115.45 and an average of 119.50. He was dismissed just twice in his five innings, posting scores of 59*, 102*, 12*, 0 and 66. The 18-year-old, who has already played five first-class matches for Yorkshire, looks a real prospect. 

His 102* against Bangladesh showed exemplary footwork, timing, intelligence and power, with his hitting through the offside a particular highlight.

Video
Harry Brook's 102* off 84 against Bangladesh

Overall grade?

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