18-year-old Jason Ralston registered the best-ever U-19 World Cup figures on Friday as Australia demolished Papua New Guinea in the group B encounter at Lincoln. This was after the Kangaroos had posted a mammoth 370 in their 50 overs. Chasing the daunting target was always going to be a tough ask for the PNG side but Ralston’s clinical bowling performance left them gasping for breath before being bundled out for just 59. Ralston returned with figures of 7/19 bettering Jeevan Mendis’s previous best of 7/20 against Zimbabwe at Christchurch in 2002. Some of the other names featuring on this elusive list are Trent Boult, Wayne Parnell, Shahid Afridi etc.
Ralston was on the money from the start and picked up a couple of wickets at the start of PNG’s innings dismissing opener Igo Mahuru, middle-order batsman Ovia Sam. In a wonderful opening spell of five overs, he inflicted most of the damage and picked up 4-10. However, he returned later to clean up the tail and claiming seven wickets in just 6.5 overs at a miserly economy rate of 2.20.
The fast bowler from Wollongong has been impressive since his debut in the warm-up match against Sri Lanka. Ralston snared three wickets against the Lankans and since then became an integral part of Austalia’s potent pace attack.
Reflecting on his impressive debut the youngster, while speaking to cricket.com.au had said, “It was unreal, a great start for the boys. I went out there and opened the bowling with Xavier Bartlett, we had a really good partnership up front.
“Putting on the jersey this morning was an unreal feeling…. playing for your country is just amazing. I thought I bowled pretty well today, and hopefully, others think the same.”