Cricket: England led to victory by Laraman

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The Independent Online
An unbeaten seventh-wicket stand of 103 between Aaron Laraman and Chris Read helped England Under-19s to a four-wicket win over their Zimbabwe counterparts at Canterbury and secured the three-match Test series, sponsored by NatWest, 2-0.

Laraman, a Middlesex player, celebrated his Under-19 debut with 56 not out and, with Read finishing on 20, victory was gained with three leg- byes as England reached their target of 226.

The pair came together with England struggling at 123 for 6 after losing their captain, Zac Morris of Yorkshire, and Essex's Jonathan Powell in successive overs after lunch. Morris fell lbw to the first ball after lunch from Mluleki Nkala, then Powell followed, driving Andrew Hoffman straight to cover point.

England started the day still needing 207 for victory and lost Graham Napier of Essex and Graeme Swann of Northamptonshire cheaply. But Kent's Robert Key hit 50 off 66 balls including two sixes and six fours. His dismissal left England on 83 for 4 and boosted Zimbabwe's hopes of levelling the series until Laraman and Read eased England home. Laraman hit six fours and three sixes in his 76-ball innings.