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Preview: With convincing wins in their first two Group C outings against Namibia and Bangladesh, England’s teenage stars are on the verge of qualifying for the ICC U19 CWC quarter-finals, to play the runner-up from Group B, Australia. Only a huge defeat against Canada can trip them up now. For Canada themselves, they have nothing to lose: after defeating Namibia to register a first win in the tournament, they will already feel that they have made their mark.
England, hotly tipped before the competition, are bubbling along nicely and were impressive against Bangladesh in their last match, cruising to a seven-wicket victory. Canada, who qualified for the event by beating USA and Bermuda and then eased past Kenya in the pre-tournament warm-up, will be riding on the buzz of that victory over Namibia. Both teams should be relaxed going into this one.
Players to watch
England: Harry Brook
England’s captain is also their standout batting talent. The Yorkshire Academy starlet made a superb unbeaten hundred against Bangladesh, sharing a match-winning partnership with the off-spinning all-rounder Euan Woods. If England are to go deep in this tournament, their captain, a tall, languid right-hander with a touch of Michael Vaughan, will be the player to take them there.
Canada: Arslan Khan
Brook’s opposite number and Canada’s No.3 is enjoying a fine tournament. His blazing 72 against Namibia was the standout innings of the match and underpinned his team’s march to victory. His 110-run third-wicket partnership with Akash Gill iced that match; Canada will be looking to those two again to inconvenience the English.
This is the first time the two sides have met at the ICC U19 CWC.
World Cup history
England are ever-presents in this tournament but haven’t won it since 1998, when a team featuring Owais Shah, Rob Key and Graeme Swann triumphed in South Africa. Indeed, 1998 was the last time they got to the final, and with only two semi-final showings in 2004 and 2006 to show from the nine subsequent tournament appearances, this year’s vintage will be keen to stem this run of underachievement.
This is Canada’s sixth appearance at the ICC U19 CWC, with a best finish of 11th in 2010 eclipsing second-from-last finishes at every other tournament. They did manage to tie with Bangladesh in their first tournament appearance; and as part of that run in 2010, they defeated Zimbabwe.
Queenstown will be partly sunny with intermittent cloud cover.
England: Harry Brook (c), Liam Banks, Tom Banton, Will Jacks, Savin Perera, Euan Woods, Fin Trenouth, Jack Davies, Tom Scriven, Ethan Bamber, Luke Hollman, Adam Finch, Dillon Pennington, Prem Sisodiya, Roman Walker
Canada: Arslan Khan (c), Akash Gill, Ashtan DeoSammy, Emanuel Khokhar, Kavian Naress, Kevin Singh, Pranav Sharma, Randhir Sandhu, Krishen Samuel, Faisal Jamkhandi, Arshdeep Dhaliwal, Rishiv Joshi, Aran Pathmanathan, Pieter Pretorious, Rommel Shazad
This article first appeared on ICC-Cricket.com, reproduced with permission.