Monday, July 24th, 2017

Tongue Ends With Three Wickets But Under-19S Face Uphill Fight

Josh Tongue picked up three wickets but England Under-19s face an uphill battle in the opening Test against India after the tourists posted a record total for matches between these countries.

Worcestershire paceman Tongue ended with figures of 3-69 from 27 overs on his debut – a reward for some impressive bowling.

But The Indian youngsters made 519 before England claimed their final wicket midway through the afternoon session on the second day at Queen’s Park, Chesterfield.

England were 164-4 at the close, needing 370 merely to avoid the follow-on.

Surrey’s Will Jacks was still there on 46 but England had lost three of their best hopes of crafting a substantial reply with skipper Max Holden, Yorkshire’s Harry Brook and Somerset’s George Bartlett all back in the hut.

India’s total, which included 292 runs in boundaries, exceeded England’s 511-9 declared at Cardiff in 2002 as the highest in this fixture, which is being played for the 24th time.

India’s previous highest total was 492, which they achieved twice in the 2000-01 series in India.

India added 130 to their overnight 389-6, thanks largely to 17-year-old Harvik Desai, the wicketkeeper, who was within 11 runs of a maiden international century when he was leg before to Tongue.

As England’s bowlers found some early swing on overcast morning, there was an escape for Desai on 39 when wicketkeeper Ollie Robinson put down a chance diving to his right off Tongue, but otherwise it was an impressive performance.

England made a breakthrough when Kamlesh Nagarkoti misjudged a ball from Tongue he was happy to let go but which in the event took his off stump and Henry Brookes had Darshan Nalkande caught at short cover.

But it was harder to prise out Desai, who completed his half-century from 127 balls when he clipped Tongue for two to mid-wicket before a sweetly timed on-drive from the same bowler brought his sixth boundary.

Yet, in a measure of the improvement in England’s bowling compared with the opening day, and of Desai’s self-discipline, it was another 20 overs before he found the rope again.

On 72 at lunch in a total of 470-8, Desai moved in similarly careful fashion to 89 from 202 balls before Tongue was rewarded for a fine spell from the Lake End with an lbw verdict after beating the right-hander’s attempt to work him to leg, the ninth-wicket partnership with Shivam Mavi having added 70 runs.

There were a few more to come yet, Mavi and Ashok Sandhu putting on 20 for the last wicket before the latter was leg before to Brookes, leaving Mavi unbeaten on 41 and England with much work to do to stay in the game.

They made a bright start, openers Holden, of Middlesex, and Brook negotiating 11 overs before tea, which they reached at 51 without loss, both batsmen playing some handsome shots and wasting few opportunities to score.

But it was a different story after tea, as Brook was caught on the crease by a ball from the pacy Mavi that bowled him and then Holden, the captain, continuing in aggressive mode, tried to dispatch Himanshu Rana over point but was foiled by an athletic leap by Ashok Sandhu, who took a fine catch above his head.

Nagarkoti, who had leaked some runs striving for pace in his first spell, then bowled Bartlett after returning to the attack and England were 86-3.

After a comedy interlude when Will Jacks lofted the left-arm spinner Sandhu for six and a dog took possession of the ball – an occupational hazard when the venue is a public park – Jacks and his Surrey teammate Ryan Patel added 50 in 10 overs but then England suffered another setback when Mavi knocked back Patel’s leg stump .

The sides meet in a second Test at Worcester from July 31 before contesting five ODIs next month.