Cricket: Abrahams bursting with pride

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The Independent Online
JOHN ABRAHAMS, the England Under-19s manager, is bursting with pride over his side's performances this summer despite defeat in the third and last Test against Pakistan.

An unbeaten 98 from opener Tofeeq Umer helped the visitors to a five- wicket triumph at Chelmsford, but England had already taken the series by winning the first two Tests.

"There has been a tremendous team spirit to go with their growing maturity, and this was evident in our opening match at Worcester," said Abrahams. "We were outplayed for the first two-and-a-half days but still came back to win.

"Matches at this level are so important in the development of players. They know it is a stepping-stone to even bigger and better things and it brings with it a different kind of pressure."

Of the side on duty at Chelmsford, Robert Key and Alex Swann have been selected for England's A's winter tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa. "My only disappointment is that at least two more of the squad have not been selected for that trip," added Abrahams.

n The county championship match at Taunton was abandoned as a draw after heavy rain allowed only 11 overs on the final day. Worcestershire progressed to 254 for 6, but the umpires decided that the state of the ground and the position of the match meant there was no likelihood of a result.