England Under-19s will head for the World Cup in Bangladesh on the back of a morale-boosting win after beating the holders South Africa by 125 runs at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium today.
Callum Taylor, an Essex all-rounder originally from Norfolk, played the key innings of 78 from 88 balls as England recovered from 16 for three to 260 for eight after being put in.
Taylor, who made his senior debut for Essex last summer, hit four fours and three sixes. He was given important support by Somerset’s George Bartlett, who made 32 in a fourth-wicket stand of 84, and Glamorgan’s Aneurin Donald in adding another 67 for the fifth.
Donald went on to make 43 from 54 balls and the innings was given further impetus by Sam Curran, who made a big impression with Surrey last summer, and Ryan Davies.
Curran stroked 28 off 27 balls and Davies, a wicketkeeper batsman who joined Somerset from Kent last autumn, cracked 45 from 27 including consecutive leg-side sixes before he was run out in the last over.
Lancashire’s Saqib Mahmood then took two wickets and Curran one to reduce South Africa’s reply to 21 for three. They recovered through a fourth-wicket stand between Wiaan Mulder and captain Tony de Zorzi, but the introduction of the Yorkshire seamer Jared Warner in the 24th over sparked a spectacular collapse.
Warner opened with a double wicket-maiden and claimed a third success with his 11th delivery. Taylor and his Essex team-mate Dan Lawrence added a victim each as South Africa were dismissed for 135 despite a last-wicket stand of 36 between Luke Philander and Wandile Makwethu, which was finally broken by Hampshire leg-spinner Mason Crane.
The England team fly to Chittagong on Wednesday for two more warm-up matches, against Namibia and the hosts Bangladesh, before they open their World Cup campaign against Fiji on January 27.