England Under 19’s are through to the final of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup which is being held in the West Indies and a certain leg spinner from Nottingham has been star of the show.
17-year-old Rehan Ahmed who already has seven list A matches for his side Leicestershire after making his debut in the Royal London One Day Cup last year, took a brilliant 4/41 to help England beat Afghanistan in a thrilling semi-final at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium yesterday which was reduced to 47 overs a side via Duckworth & Lewis.
England in bat, set their opponents 231 with Ahmed himself scoring 16 off 44 balls but getting to work with the ball later in the day, the Aspley Bluecoat schooled teenager who’s also represented Carrington Cavaliers, took four fabulous wickets as Afghanistan chased the game, passing the 150 mark at one point with six wickets in hand.
Ahmed, helped by his captain Tom Prest who took the valuable wicket of Bilal Ahmed when the match seemed to be in the chasers favour, went to work in the 39th over, bowling out Ahmadzai before taking three wickets in the 45th over, that of Noor Ahmed (25), followed by Naveed and Sami for ducks before his hat-trick ball was fended off all be it too little too late for Afghanistan.
Eventually with one wicket in hand they fell fifteen short with England winning to face either India or Australia on Saturday, that semi-final match played today at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua & Barbuda before the weekends big one again at the Viv Richards Stadium.
For Ahmed, he has proved invaluable for England during a tournament in which they have shined, in the Quarter Finals Ahmed took 4/48 against South Africa having previously taken 4/30 in the group stages against UAE.
Another Nottingham born spinner, Fateh Singh, also aged just seventeen and who plays for Nottinghamshire having made his List A debut last summer, featured in England’s first two games against Bangladesh and Canada taking one wicket, Ahmed replaced Singh against the United Arab Emirates and simply hasn’t looked back.
Both are two cricketers to watch in the future, one very much to look out for this weekend in the final. Nottingham again doing it’s nation proud.
*Main image @englandcricket Rehan Ahmed has been a spinning star for England.