Cricket: Chapple fosters a first-class image

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The Independent Online
England Under-19 586-9 dec

Surrey 2nd XI 226-2

IF THE Oval scoreboard operators are the quickest on the county circuit, they will certainly have to find something extra this summer. The insatiable appetite for runs of the England Under-19 batsmen took them to almost 600, which would probably be considered a mere trifle come September.

This glorified practice match, though, is more about the dimensions of the individual protagonists than the one-dimensional nature of statistics and for one player in particular the second day was an auspicious one. Just as Michael Vaughan, a Lancastrian turned Yorkshireman, had dominated proceedings on Tuesday, yesterday it was the turn of another turncoat, Glen Chapple, Skipton-born but now sporting a red rose in his button-hole.

Chapple's shock of ginger hair was concealed beneath a helmet for the first couple of hours but there was nothing gingerly about his stroke play. Entering at the fall of the sixth wicket, he struck a six and eight fours in a refreshing piece of clean hitting that brought him 72 off 94 balls.

At this stage, however, Lancashire regard Chapple primarily as an opening bowler and it was in this capacity that he made his next vivid impression. Surging to the stumps from a straight-backed approach, he made the first ball of the Surrey innings leave Rehan Alikhan. It found an edge and Robert Rollins plunged to his right for a fine catch.

Although that remained Chapple's high point, the pace and bounce he generated on an unsympathetic pitch augured well. 'He reminds me of Neil Foster at the same age,' said the England Under-19 coach, Graham Saville, who expects Chapple to be the first member of this side to ascend the next rung of the ladder. The prospect of a Chapple going to Australia and making hay in the home of the Chappells has a certain allure.