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Cricket: Franks raises England's hopes

South Africa Under-19 506-9 dec

England Under-19 291 & 36-0

Paul Franks showed his top-order team-mates how to occupy the crease as he made a magnificent century in England Under-19s' brave rearguard on the second day of the second Test against South Africa Under-19 in Fochville yesterday.

Franks, batting at No 9, finished unbeaten on 119 in England's total of 291 which meant they still had to follow on but gives them a great chance of a draw. At close, England were 38 for 0 with one day left.

England started the day in deep trouble on 77 for 5 and lost Jonathan Powell in the fifth over when he was bowled by the opening bowler Victor Mpitsang.

Graham Napier looked untroubled as he made 32 but drove leg-spinner Jacques Rudolph to Matthew Street at short extra cover to leave England 117 for 7.

Franks and wicketkeeper Nick Wilton, who came in when Chris Schofield was bowled, stuck to their task well, first seeing off the new ball then coping admirably with Rudolph and the left-arm wrist-spinner Gulam Bodi.

Franks played sensibly and curbed his natural attacking instincts in the overs either side of lunch as he and Wilton, who reached double figures for the first time on the tour, added 75 for the 10th wicket before Wilton was caught at third slip.

Franks brought up his half-century, which came off 132 balls, with a square drive off Mpitsang, then took advantage of a tiring attack.