Cricket star Harry Finch narrowly missed out on playing in the ICC Under-19 World Cup final.
The Hastings Priory and Sussex County Cricket Club talent was part of the England side which was edged out by three wickets against Pakistan in the first semi-final yesterday (Monday).
After winning the toss and choosing to bat in Dubai, England got off to the worst possible start by losing Jonathan Tattersall and fellow opener Finch for ducks. But fine knocks from Ryan Higgins (52) and captain Will Rhodes (76 not out) helped England post 204-7 from their 50 overs.
Although Pakistan made a good start in reply, England looked to be right back in it after taking three wickets with the score on 57. A fifth wicket stand of 74 put Pakistan back on course only to lose three wickets for 11 runs, seemingly leaving them in a spot of bother at 142-7.
An unbroken eighth wicket stand of 63, however, took them past the winning post with five balls to spare. Pakistan will meet the winners of the second semi-final between Australia and South Africa in Saturday’s final.
England pulled off a magnificent victory over defending champions India in the quarter-finals, also in Dubai, on Saturday. Much-fancied India recovered from 8-3 and 24-4 to total 221-8 batting first.
Finch was first to go in reply, trapped lbw for 10 with the score 30 in the eighth over. It appeared a tough ask for England at 41-3 and 148-6 following a classy 61 by Ben Duckett, yet they got over the line with five balls and three wickets to spare.
St Leonards-based Finch, 19, also played in all three of England’s group D games. He scored 49 in the 213-run victory over United Arab Emirates, 24 in the one-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka and 30 in the 115-run success against New Zealand.