U19 World Cup

Pope bags eight in thrilling Aussie win

Leggie takes 8-35 as England are bowled out for just 96 in U19 World Cup quarter-final

Martin Smith

23 January 2018, 05:30 PM

Pope spins a web to skittle England at World Cup

Leg-spinner Lloyd Pope has taken the best figures ever in an Under-19 World Cup as Australia pulled off a stunning victory in their quarter-final against England in Queenstown.

SCORECARD: Australia rip through England for 96

Pope finished with 8-35 from 9.4 overs to help bowl England out for just 96 as the Aussies successfully defended a total of 127 to advance to the semi-finals.

England had seemingly been cruising at 0-47 in their run chase before Pope struck, the red-haired leggie taking 3-2 in the space of 10 balls to give the Aussies a sniff.

Captain Sangha produces stunning trio of catches

In scenes reminiscent of Shane Warne's match-turning spell in the 1999 World Cup semi-final against South Africa, a fired-up Pope passionately and vocally urged his teammates on during his initial three-wicket burst, despite England still being in a strong position given they were chasing such a low total.

And the 18-year-old finished the job as the Australians progressed to the final four amid jubilant celebrations. They will now face either New Zealand or Afghanistan in the semi-finals.

Warne celebrates during his famous spell against South Africa in 1999 // Getty
Warne celebrates during his famous spell against South Africa in 1999 // Getty

"You always have to have belief to win the game," Pope said.

"All the boys have worked so hard for this, and we never gave up – that's the true spirit of all the boys.

"I always love playing for my country and to take some wickets was really awesome."

Pope smiled when he was asked who his cricketing hero was, the legendary Warne an unsurprising answer.

Sangha serves lone hand for the Australia U19s

"I did a little bit of work with him this one time, he took me out onto the Adelaide Oval, which was really nice," he said of the spin king.

"He gave me a few pointers. (It was) really interesting to meet him."

Having had opener Liam Banks well stumped by wicketkeeper Baxter Holt for his first wicket, Pope found himself on a hat-trick when he deceived England captain Harry Brook with a superb googly that went between bat and pad and clattered into the stumps.

He then picked up his third thanks to a brilliant catch from captain Jason Sangha at first slip that saw the back of Will Jacks for 1.

Pope took eight wickets in 9.4 overs to secure victory // Getty
Pope take eight wickets in 9.4 overs to secure victory // Getty

England recovered to move to 3-71 before the turning point of the match, when England opener Tom Banton, who had hammered seven fours and three sixes in cruising to 58 from 53 balls, played a reverse sweep that was again superbly caught by Sangha diving to his right at slip.

The Pope-Sangha combination struck again a short time later to leave England 5-79 at the scheduled lunch break, with Pope boasting figures of 5-27 at the interval.

Captain Sangha top-scored and took three catches at first slip // Getty
Captain Sangha top-scored and took three catches at first slip // Getty

And the Australian momentum continued after the break as impressive off-spinner Param Uppal chipped in with a wicket before a direct hit Jonathan Merlo reduced the score to 7-82.

Pope then cleaned up the tail as England lost their final six wickets for just 25, and 10 for 49 in total, to lose by 31 runs.

Earlier, Australia suffered a horror top-order collapse as they were bowled out in just 33.3 overs, with Sangha (58) the only batsman to score more than 20.