England’s last men standing prop them to third-place finish over Australia

While the demise of England’s senior team continued to gather pace in cyberspace yesterday, the country’s leading teenagers provided something to cheer by taking third place in the Under 19 World Cup.

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DUBAI // While the demise of England’s senior team continued to gather pace in cyberspace yesterday, the country’s leading teenagers provided something to cheer by taking third place in the Under 19 World Cup.

A bleak winter for England centred around an Ashes whitewash in Australia.

The fallout continued to be felt as Kevin Pietersen, their exiled batsman, mocked wicketkeeper Matt Prior on Twitter yesterday.

While the unseemliness was unfolding on social media, those players aspiring to represent England’s senior team were excelling on the field in Dubai.

Maybe it was fitting that the success that secured them third place should come against Australia. They did it in thrilling fashion, too, with the last-wicket pair of Matthew Fisher and Josh Shaw taking them to a remarkable one-wicket win.

Their alliance was worth 34 and they took James Bazley, the Australian seamer, for the 16 runs required to win off the last over with two balls to spare.

“We knew they could bat, especially Fisher who tries to get into the nets before the opening batters,” said Will Rhodes, the England captain.

“It is the first time for all of us to beat Australia.

“It could be quite tough to get up for a third place game like this, but to show the attitude we did was fantastic.

“We had ambitions to win the tournament. Unfortunately we couldn’t do that, but to come here and finish third in a tough environment was a good performance.”

pradley@thenational.ae

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