Nasser Hussain and his side have suffered a torrid time in Australia this winter but the future is looking brighter if the efforts of the England Under-19 team here yesterday are anything to go by.
In a thrilling climax to the first Youth Test, England's Under-19s defeated their Australian hosts by 14 runs at St Peter's Oval, inspired by a devastating spell of bowling from the captain, Bilal Shafayat, who took 6 for 54.
Having set Australia 284 to win, England skittled out the home side after Nick Thornicroft and Tim Bresnan had put on 72 runs for the last English wicket. Thornicroft was eventually stumped by Adam Crosthwaite.
Australia rattled up 54 runs before Liam Davis became Shafayat's first victim of the day. Matthew Harrison followed two balls later, caught by Samit Patel off Bresnan. When Greg Hunt went, caught by Liam Plunkett off Shafayat, Australia were 75 for 3.
Keith Skewes and Theo Doropoulos settled things down before Skewes was trapped lbw by Plunkett. Doropoulos then fell lbw to Patel and once Michael Bright's knock of 65 was ended by Shafayat, the end was in sight. Bresnan then dismissed Aaron Bird, before Shafayat picked up the wickets of Crosthwaite and Darren Cullen.
Luke Butterworth staged a rearguard action for his creditable 24 not out, but he eventually run out of partners, Shafayat dismissing Michael Gale to give England a deserved 1-0 lead in the series.
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