Cricket: Window on the game's future

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The Independent Online
England Under-19 .......188-7 dec Sri Lanka Under-19 .... 153-3

Match drawn

ENGLAND Under-19 and their Sri Lankan counterparts settled for practice yesterday, virtually three of the four days in the second international having been washed out. If nothing else, both sides received a valuable lesson in that most basic of cricketing disciplines, namely patience in the face of the elements.

Resuming on their painstaking opening day score of 136 for 4 from 64 overs, England set off gingerly, gathering 14 runs in the 11 overs possible before lunch. A sense of purpose permeated proceedings thereafter, Matt 'Steamy' Windows unleashing a stream of cuts and drives to collect five boundaries in the space of three overs, three in succession off the tourists' captain, Suchitra Alexander.

Thickset and thrustful, Windows, whose father, Tony, toured Pakistan with Mike Brearley's England Under-25 party in 1967, is nothing if not a natural ball-player, having won the Public Schools Fives and British Under-18 Rackets titles and represented Gloucestershire at rugby. Judging by the fulminating straight drive that sent umpire David Shepherd scurrying for cover, he could find himself propping up his county's batting order before too long.

Windows ultimately drove to mid-off to present the slow left-armer Jayantha Silva with his third scalp, due reward for a mature stint yielding just 19 runs from 15.2 overs, figures that also highlighted the opposition's largely passive approach.

The same charge could scarcely be levelled at Sajith Fernando, a daredevil left-hander who took full toll of short-pitched gifts from Glen Chapple and Mark Broadhurst and a couple of slips at slip to bludgeon 80 off 100 balls. The teams now adjourn to Worcester to settle the issue on 7 September.

An attractive 182 by the Australian Peter Sleep livened up a draw between the World XI and Pakistan at Scarborough. His 209-minute innings included four sixes, three in succession off Aamir Sohail. He fell leg before to Rashid Latif, who gave up the wicket-keeping gloves to become Pakistan's 10th bowler of the innings.

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