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World Cup semi-final agony for Yorkshire's Matthew Fisher and Will Rhodes
Four Yorkshire starlets have missed out on the opportunity of playing for England in an ICC Under-19s World Cup final after a nail-biting semi-final loss to Pakistan.
Stamford Bridge all-rounder Will Rhodes, the side’s captain, and Sheriff Hutton Bridge fast bowler Matthew Fisher both impressed as England posted 204-7 – only to lose by three wickets in the last over.
Rhodes hit a composed 76 not out to help England recover from 69-4 before taking 1-46 from ten overs, while 16-year-old Fisher was excellent for his 2-21 from ten overs.
“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 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 per cent of the time we did. Just unfortunately the other five per cent 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.”
He added: “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.
Harrogate-born opening batsman Jonny Tattersall was out for an 11-ball duck.
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.