Impressive England debut for George

George Bartlett

George Bartlett made a stunning debut for England Under-19s before rain curtailed their warm-up match in Colombo ahead of the Tri-Series against India and Sri Lanka.

17-year-old George surged into the reckoning for the Under-19 World Cup, which starts in Bangladesh next month, with his performances at various levels including Somerset’s second XI and the national Super Fours competition last summer.

He had his first chance at Under-19 level in a 50-over game against an Emerging Sri Lanka XI at the famous R Premadasa Stadium which will be hosting the Tri-Series, and settled straight in with 94 from 81 balls including eight fours and three sixes.

That was comfortably the top score as England were all out for 228, but their bowlers were frustrated as heavy rain prevented any further play.

“George really took his opportunity today with an excellent individual performance,” said Andy Hurry, the former Somerset coach who is in charge of the Under-19s.  “He showcased his ability, scoring all around the ground as he dominated spin and pace, showing an excellent temperament as well as an array of controlled scoring options.”

England had slipped to 32 for three when Bartlett came in, with Haseeb Hameed, Jack Burnham and Adam Hickey all falling cheaply, and it was 36 for four when Essex’s Dan Lawrence fell for 22 from 31 balls.

The Somerset youngster linked up first with Callum Taylor, also of Essex, in a fifth-wicket stand of 63 in 10 overs, and then with Nottinghamshire wicketkeeper Tom Moores to put on another 76 for the sixth wicket.

“A number of batsmen spent some good time in the middle experiencing the conditions and developing confidence in their roles,” added Hurry.

“We’re disappointed the bowlers didn’t have a chance to defend the total, or for the guys to spend some time on their feet in the field. We’ll probably put a bit more practice on for the bowlers in the next couple of days ahead of our first game in the Tri-Series against India on Friday.”