ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup quarter finals: Preview
We have reached the business end of the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup. It’s time for the beginning of the knockout stages with the quarterfinals. It's the very stage where one can’t simply afford to commit any mistake.
Any small mistake could potentially end the World Cup campaign of a team. Entering the knockout stages, it won’t matter how well the teams have performed in group stages as the teams will have to start from scratch.
Defending champions, West Indies have already been knocked out of the tournament. Last edition’s semi-finalist, Sri Lanka have also made a shocking exit.
The surprise element of the 2018 ICC U19 Cricket World Cup has been Afghanistan with them having qualified for the quarterfinals after four years.
Let’s look at the Quarter-Finals lineup:
#1 England vs Australia (23rd January)
The senior England team has made a comeback of sorts in the ODI series after the Ashes thrashing and the U19 England team will look to carry their senior team's momentum when they meet Australia on Tuesday.
England has had it relatively easy in the group stages. They topped their group and didn’t face any stiff opposition. On the other hand, Australia didn’t have the best of starts in the tournament.
Australia lost their first match against India by a huge margin of 100 runs. However, they managed to put the disappointment behind and dominated their next two matches against Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea.
Australia will bank on their opener Nathan McSweeney who scored a blistering 156 runs in the last match against PNG to give them a good start. Their captain, Jason Sangha has also recently found his form in the last game with 88 runs. In the bowling department, Jason Ralston and Xavier Bartlett will have to put in important contributions.
For England, Will Jacks will be their key player along with the captain, Harry Brook. Harry Brook was never dismissed during the group stage scoring a cumulative of 173 runs. Will Jacks, on the other hand, has smashed 183 runs at an impressive strike rate of 134.5.
What to expect
It should be a riveting contest between the arch-rivals. Given the current form, one can’t tell the difference between the two sides.