Sydney bowler swings his way to 6-27 as Australian U19s cruise to series lead against England
Liam Hatcher would give a big thumbs-up to any plans to use Dukes balls in Australia after relishing his first experience of touring England.
Hatcher, an 18-year-old who plays for Fairfield in Sydney and has a striking similarity to Peter Siddle, has been consistently impressive for Australia's Under-19s but he had his best day yet in taking six for 27 to secure a 2-1 lead in the Royal London One-Day Series - with the last game at Worcester on Saturday.
England were skittled for 99, with Hatcher's new-ball partner Jhye Richardson taking three for 33, and Australia cruised to a seven-wicket win with almost 30 overs remaining.
"It was just one of those days when everything went my way," said Hatcher, who was described as "The Ginger Siddle" by Andrew Flintoff on Twitter during Monday's televised match – and is known as Big Red by his teammates.
Hatcher's Australia U19 team headshot // Getty
"I got a burgle down the leg side, and a chop on which is always nice. It wasn't doing much through the air but there was a bit in it with the new ball off the deck.
"It's been nice, it's a lot better off the deck over here, there's a lot more in the pitches. You get it up there and it swings and seams – it's good fun. Two or three weeks before we came over we started bowling with a Dukes ball and you're doing well not to swing them because they hoop."
Hatcher has relished bowling alongside Richardson, David Grant and Fletcher Seymour on the tour. Richardson did the early damage in Leicester after Jake Doran had won an important toss and chosen to bowl first on a cloudy morning, trapping Adam Hickey lbw and then bowling Monday's centurion Dan Lawrence with a beauty.
Hatcher then had Haseeb Hameed caught down the leg side, one of three catches for Doran, who took over from Tom Healy as wicketkeeper for the first time on the tour.
England's captain Aneurin Donald stroked one boundary then inside-edged on to his stumps, and Durham's Jack Burnham was also bowled by Hatcher after striking three consecutive boundaries in the previous over.
Hatcher in action during last summer's U19 National Championships
Burnham's 21 was to be England's top score as wickets continued to tumble to Hatcher, who had Mason Crane lbw for a first-ball duck while Taylor and George Garton were both caught behind by Doran.
Ryan Davies flicked the off-spinner Sam Grimwade to mid wicket, and the fast bowlers Hugh Bernard and Jared Warner then shared the highest stand of the innings for the last wicket until Bernard drove Richardson to mid-off.
England raised a few Australia nerves when Hameed ran out Caleb Jewell with a direct hit from square leg off the first ball of the innings, and they were nine for two when Bernard continued his impressive series by trapping Will Pucovski lbw.
But Doran joined Matt Renshaw to score a quick 25 in a third-wicket stand of 41, and although the captain pulled Warner to Hameed at mid-wicket, Renshaw remains unbeaten for the tour after adding 39 not out to the 69 he made in Australia's previous victory.