Seventeen year-old batting dynamo Jack Edwards has continued his tremendous run of form in Christchurch today, scoring yet another half-century, as Australia began its preparations for the ICC Under 19 World Cup in New Zealand.
In a comprehensive 53-run win over the Sri Lankans, the Australian and NSW Metro Under 19 opening batsman scored 50 runs from 76 balls faced at Hagley Park No. 5.
And in his first appearance for the Australian Under 19s, New South Wales’ fast bowler Jason Ralston collected 3-36.
Ralston, who hails from Port Kembla and is playing for Eastern Suburbs in the McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket competition this season, said the performance was a good one.
“Definitely a great start, a win against Sri Lanka. Pretty convincing at that. It did go down to the last 10 overs, but it was really good”.
Ralston, Edwards and the rest of the Australian squad play their final warm-up match against South Africa at the same venue on Thursday in preparation for its first match of the Under 19 World Cup on 14 January in Tauranga, when it plays India.
Unlike his belligerent 99 not out from 60 deliveries for the Ponting XI in a BBL Pathways T20 match at the Gabba on Friday, Edwards showed maturity and poise to get the Australian Under 19 team off to a good start.
His 70-run second-wicket partnership with fellow New South Welshman and Australian Under 19 World Cup captain, Jason Sangha (27) ensured his team were in a solid position early on.
Edwards was eventually dismissed in the 27th over. During his innings he hit four boundaries and one six. This equated to less than half his runs scored in further evidence of the composure he showed at the crease.
It was the second highest score in a total of 7/251 for the Australian Under 19 side. The top score posted by Victorian all-rounder Jonathan Merlo, who made 78 off 86 balls batting at No. 4.
Blues’ rookie Param Uppal (22) also made some useful runs in the middle order.
In response, the Australia Under 19s had Sri Lanka reeling early in the run chase, as they fell to 6-64 in the 17th over.
Despite some resistance by the lower order to fight back and reach 7/183, Sri Lanka weren’t able to recover and were bowled out for 198 in 42.5 overs.
Best figures were returned by young Victorian quick, and son of Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland, Will Sutherland, who took 3-25.
Son of former Australian captain Steve Waugh and Sutherland all-rounder, Austin Waugh, cleaned up the remaining two wickets in the Sri Lankan batting order to finish with 2-27.
Each team was able to use its full squad of 15, with 11 players able to bat and 11 able to bowl.