Yorkshire four miss out on final spot as England lose to Pakistan

First published in Sport by

Four Yorkshire youngsters have missed out on the opportunity of playing for England in an under 19s World Cup final after a nail-biting loss in yesterday's semi-final against Pakistan in Dubai.

All-rounder Will Rhodes, the side's captain, and fast bowler Matthew Fisher both impressed as England posted 204-7 - only to lose by three wickets in the last over.

Rhodes, aged 18, hit a composed 76 not out to help England recover from 69-4 before returning 1-46 from ten overs, while 16-year-old Fisher was excellent for his 2-21 from ten overs.

Both played first-team cricket for Yorkshire last summer.

England were hot favourites when they reduced Pakistan to 142-7 in the 37th over of their chase, but Zafar Gohar and Amad Butt shared an unbroken 63 for the eighth wicket to carry their side home with five balls to spare.

Opening batsman Jonny Tattersall was out for an 11-ball duck after Rhodes had won the toss, while seamer Josh Shaw only played the first two matches of the tournament.

The key moment in Pakistan's chase came in the 48th over when, with them needing 22 off 17 balls, Surrey bowler Jack Winslade parried a catch at long-off over the ropes for six.

"We took it right down to the wire, and I thought we were always in with a chance," said Rhodes. "Unfortunately we didn't take our chances, and fair play to Pakistan because they took theirs.

"Fisher and Jonesy (leg-spinner Rob Jones) bowled exceptionally well. He's been outstanding all tournament has Fish, and he's got a bright future ahead of him.

"Hopefully the lads will learn from this and take some of the performances back with us for the summer.

"I think 200 was a good score, as we showed. We were always in the game, and we backed our bowlers to deliver our skills and perform under pressure. For 95 percent of the time we did. Just unfortunately the other five percent we couldn't execute as well as we'd have liked in the field.

"We've done really well (in the tournament). I think we've surpassed our expectations on how we've done. To beat New Zealand, UAE and India in the way that we did was fantastic.

"It would have been nice to finish it off and get through to the final, but it wasn't to be."

Rhodes, who had seen his troops slip to 2-2, shared a fifth-wicket partnership of 50 with opener Ryan Higgins (52) and an unbroken 50 for the eighth wicket with Rob Sayer.

He displayed the ability that prompted Yorkshire first-team coach Jason Gillespie to play him in seven 40-over and two Twenty20 matches last summer.

After Rhodes had Hasan Raza caught at mid-off to leave Pakistan at 57-2 in the 14th over of their reply, Fisher bowled a fiery spell as he had Saifullah Khan and Saud Shakeel caught behind in the 33rd and 37th overs to swing the game England's way.

However, their fielding let them down just when it mattered most.

England have a third/fourth place play-off match to contend with on Friday before heading home.

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