Rain may yet save England in the second Under-19 Test against Australia here, despite the loss of both openers. Much of yesterday's third day was washed out – leaving England, who won the opening Test, going into the final day chasing a formidable victory target of 343 with eight wickets in hand.
After leading by 49 runs on the first innings, Australia were dismissed in their second for 315 and at the close of play England were 22 for 2.
England finally wrapped up the home second innings just before lunch when Michael Bright was caught behind by wicketkeeper Andy Hodd off Liam Plunkett for 127. The fast bowler was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 78 off 22 overs.
An early lunch was taken, and – although rain prevented a resumption until late in the day – there was time for Australia to claim Neil Edwards, caught by the substitute wicketkeeper Peter Neville for two, and for Andrew Gale to be lbw, both falling to Aaron Bird.
Third day of four; Australia U-19 won toss
AUSTRALIA UNDER-19 – First Innings 164 (S R Patel 4-33, D A Stiff 4-32).
ENGLAND UNDER-19 – First Innings 115 (A C Bird 4-26).
AUSTRALIA UNDER-19 – Second Innings
(Overnight: 297 for 9)
M J Bright c Hodd b Plunkett 127
G J Sullivan not out 10
Extras (b1, lb3, w1, nb1) 6
Total (86 overs) 315
Bowling: Bresnan 11-1-40-1; Plunkett 22-4-78-3; Stiff 14-4-36-2; Patel 17-3-71-1; Wright 5-0-29-1; Shafayat 12-3-25-2; Broadbent 5-1-32-0.
ENGLAND UNDER-19 – Second Innings
A W Gale lbw b Bird 12
N J Edwards c Nevill b Bird 2
D A Stiff not out 1
Extras (lb5 w2) 7
Total (for 2, 12.4 overs) 22
Fall: 1-20 2-22.
To bat: *B M Shafayat, R S Bopara, ÝA J Hodd, L J Wright, T T Bresnan, L E Plunkett, D L Broadbent, S R Patel.
Bowling: Bird 6.4-3-8-2; Kelly 4-0-7-0; Sullivan 2-0-2-0.
Umpires: A J Soulsby and J W Ward.
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