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Brilliant Barnard rescues England U19s

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Worcestershire all-rounder Ed Barnard led the way with an unbeaten century as England Under-19s launched an admirable recovery following a shaky start to the first of two Tests with South Africa.

On the opening day at Newlands, England were invited to bat and duly slipped to 14 for three.

However, Kishen Velani and Callum Jackson then steadied the ship with scores of 49 and 43, and Barnard held firm thereafter to reach stumps on 107 not out in a total of 277 for seven.

Ed Barnard

England Under-19s, who slipped to 89 for five, were grateful for Ed Barnard's century on day one with South Africa in Cape Town

After arriving at the crease with his side still in trouble at 89 for five, Barnard shared 63 with Jackson, 60 with skipper Olly Stone and an unbroken 65 with number nine Miles Hammond, who had 17 to his name at the close.

England’s centurion rode his luck at times and received a life on 88 when wicketkeeper Clyde Fortuin failed to take a diving catch running back.

Yet that should not detract from the maturity and character Barnard showed in resisting South Africa’s attack for 168 deliveries.

Things looked far less rosy for the tourists this morning as they lost their top three inside the opening five overs.

Craig Kirsten, who later left the field with a stress fracture of the lower back that is set to sideline him for two months, had Dominic Sibley caught behind with his second delivery, while Lizaad Williams removed Jonny Tattersall and Harry Finch in quick succession en route to 4-61.

Ben Duckett reached 13 before providing Fortuin with his second catch, this time off Vincent Moore, and Velani was denied a half-century when playing on to Williams shortly after lunch.

By the time Williams bowled Jackson, England were firmly on the road to recovery and Barnard subsequently received valuable assistance from his lower-order partners.

Stone became the third batsman in succession to be bowled as he fell to Shaylin Pillay for 29, but South Africa were frustrated in their attempts to claim another breakthrough.

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