Australia’s U19 pace attack have ripped through England U19 in Bunbury to level the one-day series between the old enemies one-all.
Australia won by eight wickets in the 26th over, having earlier bowled England out for 109.
Underneath brilliant blue skies, England captain Joe Weatherly won the toss and elected to bat on a crisp but beautiful day at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School, but that was about as much joy the English side experienced against the fearsome opening bowling attack of NSW’s Henry Thornton and Western Australian tearaway quick Jhye Richardson.
Thornton bowled an almost perfect spell that was unplayable from the southern end of the ground, finishing his first seven overs with 1-7, including three maidens.
The English batsmen had no answer for Thornton’s raw pace and accuracy, while Richardson also reaped the rewards of his opening bowling partner’s accurate line and length, cleaning up the England top order and ending with figures of 3-37.
It did not get any easier when exciting Victorian pace bowler Guy Walker came into the attack, while New South Wales country star Riley Ayre also proved too much for the England batsmen.
Guy Walker bowls for Australia U19s
Ayre's left arm spin saw him grab the key wickets of Ben Green and wicketkeeper Ryan Davies to leave England reeling at 6-49.
The runs dried up further with the inclusion of 17-year-old Victorian off-spin prodigy Sam Grimwade, as the spin twins kept England scoreless for six overs.
Henry Thornton was reintroduced to try and take quick wickets and managed just that, removing Jared Warner with some express bowling.
There was some resistance from England allrounder Callum Taylor as he brought up his half-century but his stay was short lived as he attempted to pull Guy Walker and instead top-edged him to mid-on into the waiting hands of Richardson.
Thornton then wrapped up the innings with a brute of bouncer that claimed the gloves of Bernard, with England all out for 109.
On a relatively good pitch, the Australian opening pair of Sam Haezlett and skipper Jaron Morgan set up the run chase with aggression. Morgan scored 10 runs from the first over and Australia cruised to the commanding position of 0-36 from six overs when the lunch break was taken.
After lunch the Australian openers continued to press the accelerator before Haezlett and Morgan fell to the leg spin of Matt Parkinson.
Sam Harper and Jake Doran came together with the score 2-66 and reached the total in the 26th over with eight wickets in hand, Doran undefeated on 26 and Harper not out on 15.
Game three will see the sides do battle at Perth's Murdoch University on Saturday April 18.
Australia U19 will go in with all the momentum for what could be a series defining clash, to be live scored on cricket.com.au from 9.30am local time.