Cricket: England rely on Daley dose of work

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England Under-19 346-9 dec;

West Indies Under-19 141-3

THE sun shone here yesterday and maybe partly because of that the West Indies enjoyed the most satisfactory day of their tour thus far. There was a spring in the stride of their quicker bowlers and one way or another the contest was as gritty and hard-fought as Test matches at all levels should be.

It also began with a bizarre injury during fielding practice (the sort of episode not unknown at senior level) when Glamorgan's Darren Thomas so badly damaged a finger that he lost the nail, which was later stitched back on. Fortunately, it was on his left hand and although he was in considerable discomfort and heavily strapped up, he was able to fire off five economic overs at brisk pace later, which will be a relief not only down in the valleys but also to his colleagues doing battle at nearby Grace Road.

With Thomas unable to grip a bat, England were obliged to declare some way short of the total they would have liked. Apart from Durham's Jim Daley, who every now and then unveiled a back-foot stroke of great power, one batsman after another managed to get out when starting to look established.

Daley was not the only one to be comprehensively yorked. Indeed both Colin Stuart and Ian Bradshaw operated mainly to a full length. Scarcely a short- pitched ball was to be seen and half the tourists' overs were bowled by the spinners; this should not be taken as any kind of pointer to forthcoming events in the Caribbean.

England's slow bowlers, Nick Phillips and Gary Keedy, found the flighted ball would bite just enough to justify close-set fields. Phillips' changes of pace earned him the early rewards after Glen Chapple had seen Mario Ventura escape at slip during a lively opening with the new ball.