Curran stars as U19s ease past Namibia

Sam Curran produced a stunning bowling performance as England continued their preparations for the Under-19 World Cup with an emphatic 155-run victory over Namibia in Chittagong.

Curran, the youngest player in the squad who only turned 17 in June but made a remarkable impact in Surrey’s first team last summer, took 5-10 in eight overs as Namibia were dismissed for 152 in reply to an England total of 307 for seven.

Lancashire’s Saqib Mahmood, who shared the new ball with Curran, and England captain Brad Taylor took two wickets each, with Taylor’s leg-spinning Hampshire team-mate Mason Crane claiming one.

England arrived in Bangladesh on Wednesday after a morale-boosting victory over South Africa, the reigning under-19 world champions, in Dubai at the start of the week.

This was the first of two official warm-up matches before the start of their World Cup campaign against Fiji on Wednesday, and openers Dan Lawrence and Max Holden provided an excellent start with a stand of 151.

Lawrence, the tall Essex right-hander who scored two centuries against Australia’s Under-19s last summer, made 84 from 85 balls with nine fours before he was dismissed in the 28th over.

England Under-19s take on hosts Bangladesh in their second and final warm-up match in Chittagong on Monday

Holden, a left-hander originally from Cambridge who recently signed a professional contract with Middlesex, moved on to 82 from 100 balls with eight fours and a six.

Handy contributions followed from Durham’s Jack Burnham, with 22 from 28 balls, Somerset’s George Bartlett, making 14 from 19, Lawrence’s Essex team-mate Callum Taylor, adding 25 from 24, and especially Ryan Davies, the wicketkeeper batsman who joined Somerset from his native Kent during the winter.

Davies, who batted impressively against South Africa in Dubai, plundered another 27 from only 18 balls with three fours and a six, sharing a sixth-wicket stand of 42 in five overs with Curran who underlined his all-round ability with 26 from 25 balls until he was run out in the last over.

Curran then reduced Namibia’s reply to 25 for three in his opening burst of 3-5 in five overs, before returning with Mahmood to mop up the tail.

England’s second and last warm-up game in Chittagong is an intriguing one against the host nation Bangladesh. They also won today against Zimbabwe, after a century from Nazmul Hossain. But there were a couple of warnings for England from Zimbabwe, who are in their group in the competition proper, as William Mashinge took 5-67 and Ryan Murray hit an unbeaten 123.

In today’s other warm-up games Sri Lanka beat New Zealand by four wickets, Pakistan defeated Nepal by 110 runs, Afghanistan eased past Ireland by 126 runs and India fired out a heavyweight warning in a 372-run demolition of Canada. Ricky Bhui and Ishan Kishan, India’s captain, hit rapid centuries in a total of 485 for three before Canada were dismissed for 113.

Source: ECB

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