Australia U19s v England U19s
Short wraps up long Aussie U19s tour
Allrounder Matt Short takes you in to the inner sanctum of Australia's successful Under-19 tour against England
27 April 2015, 10:17 AM AEST
After a couple of training sessions getting used to the well known 'extra bounce' in Western Australia, numerous running and gym sessions, and with the completion of the warm-up match, we were pumped to get the four-dayer underway.
The traditional ‘joke of the day’ was said and with no surprises, as he’s done all tour, Victorian off spinner Sam Grimwade, did not understand it at all.
But it must have worked as us Aussie boys started well, bowling England out for 172. In reply, Queenslander Sam Heazlett, and newly signed Tasmanian, Jake Doran, showed off their ability by smashing 160 and 169 respectively to put the Aussies well in front.
Captain Jaron Morgan declared the innings on 5-342, but with the pitch getting flatter and flatter, the match was drawn with England having a lead of 50 with five wickets in hand when the final day was washed out.
It was soon time to leave Perth and head to Bunbury (or ‘Bundberry' as Jake Doran would spell it for some reason) to play our first two one-day matches.
Quick Single: Doran stars in Aus U19s series win
No surprises that fast bowler Guy Walker shotgunned the front seat for the two-hour trip - he’s pretty much glued to that seat, although he did produce the goods with his choice of music.
We soon arrived at the Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School and settled in to our boarding house type accommodation. I heard some say, “It was like being on school camp.”
With the rain still looming, we were limited to train like we all did in the U14s, on hard wickets. A few more running and gym sessions later and we were ready to kick off the one-day series.
Unfortunately we were unable to defend our score of 220 in the first match, going down to England by two wickets. During the match I (accidentally) flattened a Pommie opponent, reminding some of Andrew Symonds shirt fronting a streaker at the Gabba in 2008.
The series was evened out in the second game thanks to our bowlers as England were bowled out for 109.
Some quick runs at the top order by Morgan and Haezlett helped in form Doran and Victorian Sam Harper finish off the innings only two wickets down.
Special mention to NSW spinner Riley Ayre, who ended with figures of 2/10 off 10 overs, and also to SA batsman Patrick Page, who fielded a total of four balls in the innings.
As sad as everyone seemed to leave Bunbury, it was time to head back to the great city of Perth to battle off in the last three games of the series.
After a team dinner the night before game three, the boys were pumped to try to take the lead in the series.
And what an epic game it was, with us Aussie lads sealing the win with one ball left, winning by three wickets.
Some uncharacteristic costly fielding mistakes and dropped catches saw England set us 242 runs to win. Early wickets fell, but in came Harper and Doran.
The pair put on a 100-plus partnership, with Harper dismissed for 67 and Doran scoring yep, you guessed it, another great century.
Although we seemed on top, the loss of Harper and Doran put pressure on us, leaving the rest of the chase up to our tail-end batsmen.
Doran scored three centuries in the series // cricket.com.au
Fourteen runs were needed off 12 balls with three wickets in hand, and in came the big NSW fast bowler, Henry Thornton.
A couple of leaves made everyone on the sidelines nervous but a few big shots followed from Thornton, giving us the win with one ball to spare, and making the series 2-1 our way.
Two much-needed rest days were scheduled before game four, as some players were starting to feel sore and tired after couple of big games.
Rest days see the boys rehabilitating and recovering, watching movies, playing Call of Duty on the PS3, or if you’re Patrick Page, going shopping and spending your money on useless stuff.
Rest days also give us boys great opportunity to catch up with family, or in Jake Carder's and Jhye Richardson’s case, spending the day with their girlfriends. But everyone was very keen to win the series in the upcoming fourth match.
A great joke from the quietest person in the team, Riley Ayre, proved to lighten up the tense mood before the start of our fourth game, a game in which we had another great win which secured us the series.
It was a great start by our opening bowlers, Richardson and Thornton, who claimed three wickets between them in the first 10 overs.
We went on to bowl England out for 138 and opening batsmen Carder and Heazlett started off perfectly with a near 100 run partnership.
This left little work for our middle order as we went on to win by seven wickets.