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Aussies thrash England to all but book U19 World Cup semi-final berth as Queensland pair star

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31st January, 2024
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Australia have powered ever closer towards the semi-finals of the Under-19 World Cup after two Brisbane Grammar School old boys teamed up to spearhead a comprehensive thrashing of England at Kimberley.

At the Diamond Oval in South Africa’s old mining centre, captain Hugh Weibgen, with a superb 120, and Callum Vidler, taking four wickets in a quicksilver opening spell, blitzed their young English counterparts with gems of a performance.

The Aussies even beat the thundery weather on Wednesday as they carved out a 110-run win, under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method, in a rain-reduced affair to maintain their 100 per cent record in the tournament.

It’s made Weibgen’s side near-certainties to book a semi-final place, as they lead their Super Six group with three wins from three and boast a vastly superior net run-rate of 2.78.

Star of the day was the 19-year-old captain, who’s looked so accomplished with the bat all tournament but surpassed himself with what was being touted as the best innings of the event so far.

It would have been a very different story if he hadn’t been dropped when on 19.

“That definitely helped,” he smiled. 

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Hugh Weibgen celebrates his century during the ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup.

Hugh Weibgen celebrates his century during the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup. (Photo by Matthew Lewis-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

“This innings is probably right up there on my cricketing memories – and to get the win at the end makes it even better.”

After losing the loss under threatening skies – the only thing he did wrong all day – Australia were put in and, despite losing Sam Konstas to the fourth ball of the day, Weibgen enjoyed a tremendous second-wicket stand of 105 with opener Harry Dixon, who made his third major contribution (53 off 63 balls) of the tournament.

There were useful contributions down the order from wicketkeeper Ryan Hicks (19), Tom Campbell (13), Oliver Peake (25no) and Raf MacMillan (19no) but Weibgen was firmly in charge, striking 15 boundaries in his masterful 126-ball stay before being bowled by England’s key teen, Theo Wylie (4-42).

Australia’s total of 6-266 always looked to be 50 runs too many for England on a tricky pitch.

The 18-year-old Vidler, a nifty paceman who’s on Brisbane Heat’s books and who attended Brisbane Grammar with the captain, soon confirmed that by ripping into England’s top-order, taking 4-29 off five overs including the key wicket of hard-hitting skipper Ben McKinney.

“He’s a superstar, Cal. He’s a great kid, great player. Yeah, I think he’ll go very far. It’s good seeing him bowl at full flight, great to watch,” said Weibgen.

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The players had to be brought off for a two-and-a-half hour delay with the threat of rain and thunderstorms in the air and England tottering on 4-60.

When they returned to a match now shortened to 24 overs, England’s revised target of 215 left them needing another 155 off 87 balls. It was never on.

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Having to go for broke, England hoicked themselves into a big hole, with MacMillan particularly impressive again with his 3-16 off three overs. 

The only worry was making sure they beat the weather to get in their required 20 overs to ensure a result and they were able to do so comfortably, with Campbell (1-19) capturing the last wicket as England tumbled to 104 all out.

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