Aneurin Donald may have had to wait for his chance at the ICC Under-19 World Cup, but the Welshman in the England ranks certainly made an impact on his tournament debut in Sunday’s win against Zimbabwe.
The Glamorgan batsman, who captained England in last summer’s Royal London One-Day Series against Australia, replaced George Bartlett at number five in the batting order when the Somerset youngster was ruled out by illness.
Coming in with England well set at 174 for three in the 39th over, but needing an injection of momentum, Donald contributed 25 from 17 balls in a fourth-wicket stand of 52 with Durham’s Jack Burnham – his Chittagong room-mate.
He hit two boundaries but it was a shot that went for two which caught the imagination of the commentators on duty at the time – Alan Wilkins and Paul Allott – and has since become a social media hit, in addition to winning Donald the Nissan Play-of-the-Day Award.
“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” said Wilkins, while Allott named Donald’s shot “the scooping slap”.
“It’s all kicked off on social media,” Donald reflected to ecb.co.uk today.
— ICC (@ICC) January 31, 2016
“I asked people if they had any better ideas for a name. We’ve had the Schloop, and maybe the Nye Scoop [he is known as Nye, having been named after the great Labour Party politician Aneurin “Nye” Bevan], and quite a lot of others.
“It’s just great to know that people are taking an interest in the tournament back at home with the games being on Sky – especially with us getting three good wins to make it to the quarter-finals.”
Donald, who was a good enough rugby player as a youngster to represent the Ospreys at under-16 level before concentrating fully on cricket as his sporting career, has a history of going for his shots – he struck Imran Tahir for a straight six in making a half-century on his senior debut for Glamorgan in a County Championship match at the end of 2014, and improvised to impressive effect in England’s series-levelling victory against Australia at Worcester last August.
But he admitted his effort against Zimbabwe was unlike anything he’s done before.
“I was expecting a yorker so I got in position to ramp it, but it turned out to be an extremely slow short ball,” he said.
“I’m not really sure what I was doing or how I got it away, but we got a couple so it worked out ok.”
England now head for Dhaka on Wednesday having booked their place in the third quarter-final, at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Sunday, against the second-placed team in Group B – which means the losers of Wednesday’s match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan who have each won their first two matches.
Bartlett has already recovered from his illness, so they are likely to be selecting from a full-strength squad.
That game will again be shown live on Sky Sports, starting at 3am GMT.