Australia-England under-19 Test series up for grabs with final match in Sydney
The final four-day match in the 2003 under-19 International Series between Australia and England begins today at Bankstown Oval, with both sides needing a win to take out the Test series.
The three-Test series is currently balanced at one win apiece after England claimed the first Test in Adelaide by 14 runs (12-15 January) and Australia rebounded with a 168-run victory in the second Test in Melbourne last week (28-31 January).
Australian under-19 coach and former Australian Test player Wayne Phillips said the stakes were high for both teams leading into the last four-day match.
"The series so far has been thrilling with some tough competition and outstanding individual and team performances from both sides," he said.
"There is obviously a lot of pride at stake in representing your country, and with the healthy rivalry that exists between Australia and England, it certainly adds to the occasion.
"An outright series win is up for grabs with this last Test match, so the scene is set for an entertaining four-days.
"The last Test series four years ago was tied, so there's extra incentive to win here in Sydney and come out with a 2-1 victory," he said.
Australia and England last played at this level in 1999 in the United Kingdom and drew the three-Test match series 1-1. The Australian side won the one-day series 2-1.
That tour of England featured now established first-class players Michael Clarke (New South Wales), Sean Clingeleffer (Tasmania), Nathan Hauritz (Queensland), Michael Klinger (Victoria) and Paul Rofe (South Australia).
The 2003 Australian under-19 team currently lead the five-match one-day series 2-0 after a 22-run win in Adelaide (18 January) and a 63-run victory in Melbourne last weekend (26 January).
The remaining one-day schedule for the International Series is:
February 3-6 3rd four-day match Bankstown Oval, Sydney February 8 3rd one-day match Sydney Cricket Ground February 10 4th one-day match Hurstville Oval, Sydney February 11 5th one-day match Hurstville Oval, Sydney
Regular score updates, statistics and scorecards of the 2003 International Series will be available from the Australian Cricket Board's official internet site www.baggygreen.com.au.