Brad Taylor reflected on a poor England batting performance that resulted in a heavy defeat by Sri Lanka in the quarter-finals of the ICC Under-19 World Cup.
England had piled up big totals in each of their three group games, but lost two early wickets and were unable to recover against a Sri Lanka attack including six spinners.
They were all out for 184 in the 50th over and Sri Lanka cruised home with six wickets and almost 15 overs remaining to book a semi-final against India on Tuesday.
“We thought it was a pretty good wicket, and I guess 185 just isn’t enough really,” said Taylor, who had won the toss and chosen to bat first.
“All the guys agreed that batting first and getting runs on the board was the right thing to do. It didn’t do an awful lot. We just made errors really.
“It’s the way we lost our wickets, with some soft dismissals. We could have got up to 250 if we’d consolidated in that middle period.”
Asked about the lessons England would take away from the tournament, Taylor added: “It’s just a case of getting yourself in on these pitches. Get in, then you can go big.”
Dan Lawrence, the Essex opener who had made 174 in England’s first game and passed 50 in their other two matches, was the first to go to Sri Lanka’s slippery opening bowler Asitha Fernando, playing on as he advanced down the pitch.
Max Holden fell to a good ball and a sharp slip catch in Fernando’s next over, and then the spinners took over.
Callum Taylor, the Essex all-rounder originally from Norfolk, played the only substantial innings by making 42 from 57 balls with four boundaries. He was unlucky to be given lbw in the 23rd over, leaving England on 82 for four.
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Surrey’s Sam Curran looked promising in making 25 from 35 balls until he holed out to deep midwicket, and Somerset’s George Bartlett was superbly caught at long-off in the next over.
Ben Green hit the only six of the innings in making 26 from 38 balls and Taylor chipped in with a handy captain’s knock of 22 off 25 near the end, but England were dismissed when Mason Crane fell to the second ball of the last over.
England needed early wickets but instead Avishka Fernando gave Sri Lanka a flying start, hitting Curran for four consecutive boundaries.
Lawrence broke an opening stand of 76 with a direct hit from cover to run out Kaveen Bandara, and also claimed the wicket of Kamindu Mendis in a tidy 10 overs of off-spin.
But Fernando powered on to 95 from 96 balls and by the time he fell to Saqib Mahmood, Sri Lanka were on the verge of victory.
England will now play in the Super League Play-Off competition against the other losing quarter-finalists.