All-rounder Connor Sully played a pivotal role in Australia’s thrilling two-wicket win over England in a pulsating Group B contest of the ICC U-19 World Cup at Kimberley on Thursday.
Sully took two wickets and later smashed a crucial 35 as Australia first restricted England to 252/7 and then overhauled the target in the last ball of the match at the Diamond Oval.
Sent into bat, England U-19 team posted 252/7, riding on a 100-ball 82 by opener Ben Charlesworth and a 44-ball 51 from Dan Mousley. Jack Haynes (31) and Kasey Aldridge (32) also chipped in with useful contributions.
For Australia, Sully took two wickets, while Bradley Simpson (1/69), Liam Scott (1/35), Todd Murphy (1/35), Tanveer Sangha (1/48) and Oliver Davies (1/25) accounted for one each.
Chasing the total, Australia lost opener Jake Fraser-McGurk early but Sam Fanning (31) and Mackenzie Harvey (65) steadied the innings as they reached 70 for two in 13.5 overs.
Once Fanning was dismissed, Harvey and Lachlan Hearne (45) joined hands and took Australia across the 150-mark. But Hamidullah Qadri (2/35) and Lewis Goldsworthy (2/24) picked up two wickets each in quick succession to leave Australia reeling at 172/6 in 35.1 overs.
Australia were further down to 206/8 with 47 needed off last 26 balls. Sully then used his long handle to great effect, smashing 35 off 20 balls which included three sixes and a four in the 48th over off Cullen to take Australia home in a thrilling finish.
In the other Group B match, West Indies U-19 team handed an embarrassing 246-run defeat to debutants Nigeria in a lop-sided contest.
Electing to bat, West Indies registered a massive 303/8, courtesy of skipper Kimani Melius’ 81-ball 65, a 70-ball 68 by Matthew Patrick and a scintillating 30-ball 43 by Joshua James lower down the order.
Pacer Jayden Seales (4/19) and Ashmead Nedd (3/11) then wrecked havoc on the Nigerian team, dismissing the minnows for a paltry 57 in 21.4 overs. West Indies (six points) thus finished at the top of Group B, followed by Australia (four points).