Townsville (Australia), Aug 11: Australia started their defence of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup with a six-wicket win against arch rivals England in Townsville on Saturday.
Australian captain Will Bosisto won the toss and elected to bowl on a bouncy wicket at Tony Ireland Stadium. A fantastic all-round bowling effort from the Australian Under-19 side saw them restrict the tournament front runners to 143, a Cricket Australia (CA) media release said.
Australia struck early with West Australia's Joel Paris taking out English danger-man Daniel Bell-Drummond for a duck. Paceman Mark Steketee then claimed the valuable wicket of Ben Foakes (2).
West Australia's Ashton Turner claimed the wickets of Ben Duckett (15) and Sam Wood (0) with consecutive deliveries, unfortunately missing his hat-trick with the first ball of his next over.
New South Wales' quick Gurinder Sandhu was well suited to the fast wicket and had a great day with the ball finishing with figures of 9.3-1-27-3.
Australia's run chase got off to a shaky start with the openers James Peirson and Cameron Bancroft falling in the first two overs to a sharp opening spell by the English opening attack.
Bosisto and hard-hitting left-handed batsman Travis Head combined well for a match winning fourth wicket stand enabling Australia to cruise to victory with 15 overs to spare. Head, who was awarded Man of the Match, hit a solid 57 of 58 balls to combine with Bosisto for a partnership of 93.
Bosisto said it was great to start off with a win against a strong side like England.
"I think our bowlers bowled really well early on, they had good line and lengths and we got a few nicks and LBWs and from there it was really about keeping it tight.
"We have played England before and we expected them to put a few more runs on but I know the wicket was tough for batting out there early on," he said.
Australia play Nepal in their second group match on Monday 13 August at Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville.