West Indies Under-19
KEITH FLETCHER'S nationwide search for, among other things, English batsmen who play straight, sell their wickets dearly and prosper against pace and spin alike landed him here yesterday just in time to see a century by Michael Vaughan, a Mancunian on Yorkshire's books who seems to have all those qualities.
Vaughan's innings of 119, carefully assembled from 204 balls delivered by six bowlers, followed scores of 122 and 56 in the two one-day internationals and made sure England extricated full value from Ron Allsopp's excellent pitch on the opening day of the first Under-19 Test.
Having been rained off at nearby Leicester, the England manager was luckier here. He saw only Matthew Dowman, leg before early on, miss out against bowlers who found another wet and cold day a test not only of their temperament but their accuracy in conditions where there was no margin for error.
Nor was the sight of some fielders skulking around with hands in pockets too impressive. The tourists did have a couple of plus marks, though, in the bowling of their captain, the left- armer, Ian Bradshaw, and the impressive work of the leg-spinner Dinanath Ramnarine. Bradshaw obtained more bounce than anyone and as he can bat he is, at 19, a mouth-watering prospect. Vaughan nevertheless coped well with him and the new ball and his bat was seldom, if at all, passed during a comfortable second-wicket partnership of 134 with his captain, Matthew Walker.
It ended when Walker ventured a long way from home against Ramnarine and was bowled, probably by a googly or top spinner. At 86, in a rare moment of vulnerability, Vaughan edged a leg break close to slip, and it took a particularly good ball from Bradshaw to dislodge him after 226 minutes and more than one test of concentration, with interruptions for rain and bad light.
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