England on back foot

England'S Under-19 team were facing a battle to save their three-day match against the Rest of India in Bombay yesterday after losing two quick second innings wickets.

England'S Under-19 team were facing a battle to save their three-day match against the Rest of India in Bombay yesterday after losing two quick second innings wickets.

The Rest of India were able to declare not long before the close on 321 for 7 with a lead of 111 and England slumped to 11 for 2 at stumps.

England's bowlers fell victim to a brilliant century from Gnaneswara Rao, who hit 17 fours and two sixes in an unbeaten 123. After taking three quick wickets just before lunch to reduce the home side to 119 for 5, the England bowlers took another 90 minutes to make their next breakthrough.

Rao, who was unbeaten on 83 at tea, and Maninder Singh added 101 for the sixth wicket and comfortably took the Rest of India past England's first innings total of 210.

Having seen his bowlers disappoint, none more so than the spinner Monty Panesar, the England captain Ian Bell brought himself on and took a wicket with his fourth ball of off-spin, finding the edge of Maninder's bat for the wicketkeeper Mark Wallace to take a simple catch.

Three overs later the spinner Robert Ferley took his fourth wicket when he trapped Gagandeep Singh leg before for nine. England bowled and fielded poorly, although Ferley emerged with credit, ending with figures of 4 for 71. Before the close, England lost the opener Gary Pratt, bowled for a duck by the off-spinner Mulewa Dharmichand, who also trapped the nightwatchman Andrew McGarry leg before when he offered no stroke.

Nottinghamshire have stepped in for Northamptonshire's Richard Logan after the seam bowler turned down a new contract with the Second Division champions.

The former England Under-19 bowler played the first six games in Northamptonshire's promotion-winning campaign last year but failed to hold down a place in the second half of the season.The Nottinghamshire assistant cricket manager, Mick Newell, confirmed they were interested in taking the player on. He said: "We have offered Richard a move to Trent Bridge and he has gone away to think about it over the weekend. We are expecting his answer early next week."

* Recurring knee injuries mean the New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns will miss the third and deciding one-day international against Zimbabwe in Auckland tomorrow. "I'm uncertain what is next for me," Cairns said. "I'll be seeing the medical panel next week and they will assess what is required to deal with the injuries."

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