Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Academy Player Westbury Scores Unbeaten 153 On England Under-19 Debut

Academy Player Westbury Scores Unbeaten 153 On England Under-19 Debut

Worcestershire CCC Academy player Ollie Westbury had a debut to remember for England Under-19s today as he scored a superb 153 not out in the first 'Test' against Sri Lanka Under-19s at Fenners.

The Dudley-born player reached three figures off 172 balls with one six and 11 fours with a single in the 55th over.

By the close he had struck 15 fours and one six in his 289 ball knock as England Under-19s closed on 355-4 from 96 overs.

Westbury, who was 19 earlier this month, has progressed through the Academy ranks and last winter enjoyed a successful spell in Australia playing grade cricket for Hay Park.

He has carried that form on during the current campaign with the Seconds at New Road and has scored two hundreds, 137 against Northamptonshire at Kidderminster and 151 versus Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.

Westbury, who plays Birmingham League cricket for Shrewsbury, has a thirst for batting and to occupy the crease for long periods which is no longer commonplace – and he is reaping the benefits.

He demonstrated this by continuing on in the same determined manner after reaching three figures.

Westbury had been unbeaten on 43 at lunch out of 86-2 after a stand of 65 in 21.1 overs with George Hankins was ended immediately before the interval.

He went to his 50 off 107 balls and then accelerated with his second half century taking only 65 deliveries.

Westbury and George Bartlett, who made a fine 131, added 231 for the third wicket in 53 overs.

After Bartlett's dismissal, another Worcestershire CCC Academy player in Josh Dell was dismissed for a single on his Under-19s debut..

But Westbury was still there at the close.

Worcestershire Academy coach Elliot Wilson said: "I'm chuffed to bits for Ollie. It was nice to see him this morning at Cambridge before he started and I'm delighted for the reward he is getting for a lot of hard work he has done over the last couple of years.

"His ability to want to bat for long periods of time and occupy the crease are wonderful traits to have and I wish many more had similar traits.

"I genuinely don't know anyone who has worked as hard as he has to really sort his game out these last two years. He has been well supported by a number of people at the club.

"The time at Hay Park gave him a winter of growing up, standing on his own two feet which was good for him."

Worcestershire Batting Coach and Second Eleven coach Kevin Sharp said: "Ollie is a good traditional opening batsman. His strengths are his patience, concentration and his technique.

"He is prepared to bat for a long time, see off the new ball and accumulate runs.

"To represent your country at any level is a special thing and it gets you away from your traditional way of living and the team-mates you play with on a regular basis.

"It gets you into a new enviroment and you have to adapt. It is all good learning, and a little bit of the pressures of playing at representative level.

"We've got a very strong Academy here and Elliot runs a great programme and with the senior coaches at the club, Bumpy, Mase, myself, we do put a lot of emphasis on working with these lads like Ollie."