Preview: Australia look to close out Group B in match against Papua New Guinea.
These teams are at opposite ends of the spectrum. While Australia look to consolidate its position in the next round, Papua New Guinea (PNG) will hope to finish their campaign on a high.
Australia haven't won this tournament since 2010 and are determined to remedy that under Jason Sangha's leadership. They are hot favourites to proceed to the quarter-finals – but will it be as group winners or as runners-up?
Australia began their campaign with a comfortable warm-up win against Sri Lanka by 53 runs before they ran into India, who beat them by 100 runs. They then registered a seven-wicket victory over Zimbabwe. Winning against PNG on Friday would guarantee them a place in the quarter-finals.
Papua New Guinea went on an unbeaten streak in their qualifying tournament, but are yet to win again. After losing in the warm-up game to West Indies, they lost to both Zimbabwe and India – by 10 wickets in each game.
Players to watch
Jack Edwards (Aus)
With scores of 73 and 44 in his first two group games, the right-hand opener is one to look out for. Edwards is also a handy right-arm seamer who took four wickets in Australia’s loss against India.
Ovia Sam (PNG)
As PNG’s batsmen continue to struggle, Sam has been the most consistent in preserving his wicket and getting runs on the board. He made 24* against Zimbabwe and, as his team fell all too easily against India’s bowling attack, he managed 15 runs with two boundaries.
Head to head
The two teams have faced each other just twice in the history of the U19 World Cup, with Australia coming away with dominating wins on both occasions in 1998 and 2004.
World Cup history
Australia won the first-ever ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in 1988, and have since added the 2002 and 2010 titles to their collection. Featuring among the teams were future international cricketers Stuart Law, George Bailey, Shaun Marsh, and Josh Hazlewood. Australia chose not to compete at the 2016 edition of the tournament in Bangladesh due to security fears.
This will be PNG’s eighth U19 World Cup appearance, with their most recent coming in 201. But they have never made the quarter-finals, with a best finish of 12th in the 2008 and 2010 editions. The 2012 competition saw the first – and to date only – century made by a PNG batsman at this level, as Christopher Kent scored 105 not out against Afghanistan.
Lincoln is expected to be partly cloudy most of the day after three days of sunshine earlier in the week. The game should proceed without any delays.
Australia: Jason Sangha (c), Will Sutherland, Xavier Bartlett, Max Bryant, Jack Edwards, Zak Evans, Jarrod Freeman, Ryan Hadley, Baxter Holt, Nathan McSweeney, Jonathan Merlo, Lloyd Pope, Jason Ralston, Param Uppal, Austin Waugh
PNG: Vagi Karaho (c), Sema Kamea, Eisa Eka, James Tau, Tau Toa Nou, Nou Rarua, Igo Mahuru, Simon Atai, Leke Morea, Kevau Tau, Heagi Toua, Daure Aiga, Ovia Sam, Sinaka Arua, Boge Arua.