Brook issues World Cup reminder with classy individual innings

London, (UNI) Young gun Harry Brook did his chances of a late call-up to England’s squad for this year’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup squad no harm with an impressive knock against New Zealand in the opening match of their T20I series at Chester-le-Street.

Brook was a glaring omission from the preliminary World Cup squad that England named earlier this month and the 24-year-old has reacted well since the news with a string of excellent scores.

The right-hander smashed a century in his last match in England’s domestic T20 competition last week and followed that up with an eye-catching 43 not out from just 27 deliveries against the Kiwis to help his side clinch a comfortable seven-wicket victory on Wednesday.

England captain Jos Buttler indicated earlier this month that Brook was still an outside chance of earning a place in the final World Cup squad that must be submitted to the ICC prior to September 28 and his form against New Zealand showed he is currently in very good touch, an ICC report said.

Brook smashed a pair of fours and three sixes during his innings, joining with Dawid Malan (54) and Liam Livingstone (10 not out) to help England chase down New Zealand’s modest total of 139/9 with six overs to spare.

Buttler was impressed with Brook’s composure and knows the youngster remains in England’s long-term plans, regardless of whether that includes selection at this year’s 50-over World Cup.

“Harry Brook is a class player,” Buttler told the BBC after play.

“No-one is saying they don’t rate him or think he is a superstar,” he said.

“He has been a key part of the T20 side for the best part of a year and will be a key part for the next 10 years,” Buttler said.

New Zealand captain Tim Southee made no excuses for his side’s poor performance, with middle-order batter Glenn Phillips top-scoring for the tourists with 41 and attacking opener Finn Allen (21) the only other player to score greater than 20.

“It was no doubt not our best effort, but we’ve got a couple of days to turn it around,” Southee said ahead of the second match of the series in Manchester on Saturday.

“The way they took early wickets stalls any momentum but our assessment of the wicket was probably a bit off, and with the ball we just had to try and take as many wickets as we could,” he added.

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