The 2012 Under 19 World Cup saw 16 teams vying for the trophy, and was held in Queensland Australia, from August 10th to 26th.
There were six Associate sides present, decided by a Global Qualifier which had taken place in Ireland the previous summer. Ireland had struggled during qualification, losing three times in an underwhelming event which didn’t augur well for their hopes. They were skippered by senior international George Dockrell who had already appeared in both a senior and two T20 World Cups.
The Irish were joined Down Under by qualifier winners Scotland, Afghanistan, Namibia, Papua New Guinea and Nepal.
The Irish played familiar foes in the shape of England but their brittle batting was again on show as they struggled to 109, with Tyrone Kane (28) and George Dockrell (26) the only batters to show anything – Reece Topley the pick of the English attack. Graeme McCarter struck early, but England eased to a seven wicket win, with future internationals Ben Foakes and Craig Overton among the runs.
England had lost their opening game to hosts Australia, who made it two wins from two as they hammered Nepal by 212 runs – Cameron Bancroft hitting 125. They would top the group if they beat Ireland, which they had little trouble in doing, despite a slightly improved Irish display. Ryan Hunter hit a breezy 31 at the top of the order, but despite five other batters getting starts they were dismissed for 129. They did battle with the ball, skipper Dockrell having figures of 10-6-10-1, as Australia took 40 overs to reach their target in a six wicket win.
The group wooden spoon encounter saw Ireland facing Nepal, who had beaten them in the qualifiers at Bready. The Irish middle order played sensibly with Shane Getkate (47) and Andy McBrine (41) adding 71 as they posted 185 for 8 – Tyrone Kane (39*) making valuable runs too. Nepal got to within 14 runs, but spin again played a key role with Dockrell taking 4 for 22, and Adam Coughlan 2 for 39 in the win. Nepal also lost to England, for whom Ben Foakes hit 92 in a 126-run win.
In Group B, Pakistan and New Zealand progressed as expected but there were some encouraging displays by Scotland and Afghanistan. The Scots batting got to 208 chasing 248 against NZ, with Freddie Coleman making 65. Coleman was again in the runs as they made 200 against Pakistan, with Ross McLean also hitting 59 but their opponents also found conditions to their liking in a nine-wicket win. Afghanistan came close to shocking New Zealand, just nine runs the margin with Najibullah Zadran’s 69 almost getting his side over the line. The game between Scotland and the Afghans was a tense one which went down to the wire in a ten-run victory for the Asians. Javed Ahmadi top scored with 71 as they made 191 – four wickets for Gavin Main. McLean and Coleman were again in the runs but received little support as Afghanistan prevailed.
Group C went very much as expected with West Indies – led by Kragg Braithwaite – and India progressing. Zimbabwe, skippered by former Strabane all-rounder Matthew Bentley, and Papua New Guinea completed the group. PNG may have lost all their games but they did have some excellent individual performances with five wicket hauls for both Chris Kent and Chad Soper.
In Group D, Namibia found the going tough, losing all three games heavily. There was something of an upset as Bangladesh pipped Sri Lanka to second place, behind a powerful South Africa team for whom Quinton de Kock was in imperious form, making a century and a 90 in their unbeaten run.
In the main quarter-finals South Africa’s batting fired again as they overwhelmed a disappointing England, while a fine all-round display by Travis Head saw Australia beat Bangladesh by five wickets. The other two games were tense affairs with NZ chasing 238 against West Indies, while India prevailed by one wicket in an attritional clash with Pakistan. In the semi-finals Cameron Bancroft’s 66 proved pivotal as the hosts reached the decider, where they were joined by India, who again showed their mettle in a close-fought nine-run victory over New Zealand. In the final skipper Unmukt Chand came good as he scored a brilliant unbeaten century as he Indian team showed no nerves to chase down 225 to win by six wickets at a canter.
Back in the Plate Competition Ireland faced Namibia in the last eight and duly progressed with a solid if not exactly convincing display. Graeme McCarter took four early wickets and with George Dockrell’s analysis reading 10-5-8-1, Namibia were restricted to 128 for 9. Ryan Hunter hit 42 and Jason van der Merwe 28 as Ireland eventually won by four wickets.
Elsewhere, Chris Kent hit an unbeaten century but it wasn’t enough as PNG lost to Afghanistan, while Scotland’s Nick Farrar’s 58 proved decisive as they beat Zimbabwe. Sri Lanka had little trouble accounting for Nepal who they dismissed for 79 in an eight-wicket win.
Sri Lanka then took on Ireland and with Sandun Weerakkody hitting 112 not out were always in control, posting 258 – Dockrell and McCarter again the pick of the Irish attack. The chase in truth never threatened at any juncture, despite the best efforts of Shane Getkate, who top-scored with 46 in a 109-run loss. Javed Ahmadi hit 134 as Afghanistan proved much too strong for Scotland, winning by 126 runs.
Sri Lanka coasted to a seven wicket win over the Afghans in the Plate final, while in the 11th/12th place decider, Scotland beat Ireland by five wickets despite a fine 78 from Tyrone Kane, who was one of the positives for the Irish in a mediocre campaign. Of the squad, seven would feature at senior level, with Dockrell far and away the most prominent with 224 appearances.
Of the others Andy McBrine has played 81 times to date, Peter Chase 43, Barry McCarthy 42, Shane Getkate 18, Tyrone Kane 10, and Graeme McCarter 7.
IRELAND UNDER 19 WORLD CUP SQUAD 2012
George Dockrell (captain), Scott Campbell, Peter Chase, Adam Coughlan, Shane Getkate, Ryan Hunter, Tyrone Kane, Robin Kelly, Andrew McBrine, Graeme McCarter, Barry McCarthy, Alistair Shields, Patrick Tice, Jason van der Merwe, Ben Wylie.