Matches (15)
NZ v AUS (1)
AFG v IRE (1)
Nepal Tri-Nation (2)
PSL 2024 (2)
WPL (2)
BPL 2024 (1)
WCL 2 (1)
Durham in ZIM (1)
CWC Play-off (3)
QAT v HKG (1)
News

Grace Scrivens promises fearless approach as England brace for Under-19 semi-final

England captain leads unbeaten side into crunch contest against Australia in Potchefstroom

Grace Scrivens (left) has led England to the U19 World Cup semi-finals  •  Getty/ICC

Grace Scrivens (left) has led England to the U19 World Cup semi-finals  •  Getty/ICC

Grace Scrivens, England's Under-19 captain, says her team will go into their World Cup semi-final against Australia in Potchefstroom with the same fearless mindset that served them so well in their unbeaten run through the group stages.
Scrivens herself has been at the forefront of England's table-topping exploits, scoring 269 runs at 53.80 in five matches to date - the most by any player in the tournament.
This includes a highest score of 93 against Ireland, and two further fifties in victories over Rwanda and West Indies, and though Australia represent the biggest challenge for her team to date, Scrivens is confident that they can go all the way to Sunday's final, where either India or New Zealand will lie in wait.
"We're really excited," Scrivens said. "We can't wait. The mood in the camp is really good and so far across the tournament we've been playing really good cricket, which is good to see. We've been on quite a good run across the last few games and hopefully we can keep that going in the semi-final.
"Obviously it's Australia, which makes us want to win even more because of the rivalry, but it's a World Cup semi-final so it's always going to be a big game. The way we've been playing, we've got to be excited, but nothing really changes going into this game."
The focus on mindset has been a common theme in English cricket of late, given the success of the men's Test team under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum in 2022, and Scrivens says that her team has reaped the rewards.
"We set out as a group and as a coaching staff for the U19s to play with a positive mindset," she told Sky Sports. "That might have been influenced by people higher up, but we were all keen on buying into the positive intent and mindset that we have shown.
"It will be a challenge, Australia are a very good team, but the way we have been playing is really pleasing for us. We will go in with the same mindset, that's what's been working and [we] can't really change it now."
Scrivens has been well supported with the bat by her top-order colleagues, Liberty Heap and Niamh Holland, both of whom are also among the tournament's leading run-scorers. The platform they have laid has helped the middle-order push onto some imposing totals, with England registering four of the five highest scores to date, including their best of 207 for 2 against Ireland.
"That's something we've talked about and worked on," she said. "We trust each other, if one of the top three gets out then we know that the middle order can pick up the pieces and take us on to a good score, and that's allowed us to play with a real sense of freedom.
"Obviously the girls have executed it really well, which is so nice to see. There's a fearlessness in the group at the minute, we're not fearing getting out or getting hit - it's just about having a positive mindset."
England's male Under-19s reached the World Cup final in Antigua in February last year, and though they lost on that occasion to India, one of the stars of that side, Rehan Ahmed, has already gone on to play for the senior men's team. It's a prospect that Scrivens admits she is keen to emulate, and having made her Hundred debut for London Spirit last year, she is eager to grow her experience at senior level.
"I have now played in the U19s and want to push on to the women's team, but I don't know how soon that will be. I just want to play my best cricket and see where that gets me.
"Obviously it would be incredible if we were to go on and win the trophy but we've got a real tough game against Australia tomorrow and I think that's our main focus right now. We'll try to not get too many games ahead of ourselves. That's what we did in the group stages and it worked well for us, so we'll only be focusing on tomorrow's game."