Finch to the fore for England U19s
Harry Finch’s triple strike ensured England Under-19s retained control of the first youth Test with South Africa, despite a batting collapse on day three at Newlands.
After securing a first-innings lead of 119 yesterday, England slipped from 93 for two to 151 all out this afternoon, losing four wickets for five runs at one stage.
Yet first-change seamer Finch soon turned the game back in the tourists’ favour with a superb six-over spell that yielded figures of 3-7.
South Africa, down to 10 batsmen following Craig Kirsten’s injury earlier in the game, closed on 66 for four and will begin the final day of four requiring a further 205 for victory.
Finch, an all-rounder from Sussex batting at three in this match, wasted little time in making an impression with the ball after being called upon for the ninth over of South Africa’s second innings.
Swinging the ball both ways, the 17-year-old had Murray Coetzee caught in the slips by Ben Duckett with his third delivery and subsequently trapped Shaylin Pillay and Diego Rosier lbw in successive overs.
England struck again before stumps when David Bedingham glanced Gloucestershire off-spinner Miles Hammond to Duckett at leg slip, although Andries Gous remained unbeaten on 30.
Dominic Sibley had underpinned England’s earlier effort with the bat.
The Surrey opener demonstrated patience in compiling 62 off 154 balls, but suffered from a lack of support as runs proved hard to come by on a pitch offering increasing variable bounce. First-innings centurion Ed Barnard made the next highest contribution with 17.
Vincent Moore, Michael Faasen and Pillay each chipped in with three wickets apiece for the Proteas.