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Stone's England draw first blood

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England Under-19s comfortably won the first of two youth Tests versus South Africa by a 107-run margin at Newlands.

The tourists took the five wickets they needed on the last day of four by midway through the afternoon session, with opening bowlers Olly Stone and Gavin Griffiths each striking twice.

Top-order batsman Andries Gous offered resistance, advancing from 30 overnight to 83 before falling to Griffiths, but with Craig Kirsten unable to bat the hosts were dismissed for 163.

Chasing 77 more than they managed in the first innings for victory, South Africa today resumed on 66 for four after Harry Finch’s triple strike yesterday made England favourites.

Olly Stone

Captain Olly Stone's two wickets today gave him six during a youth Test in which South Africa were convincingly beaten by 107 runs

Skipper Stone got an early breakthrough by having Vincent Moore lbw with a ball that nipped back into the right-hander. With a similar delivery fellow seamer Josh Shaw then knocked out Vassilli Orros’ leg stump.

The previously subdued Gous responded by sweetly off-driving the day’s first four, one of his five boundaries before lunch that culminated in launching Miles Hammond’s full-toss for six over long-off.

Gous and Clyde Fortuin had added 59 by the interval to give their side hope. The opener hit two more fours in his first five balls back before being bowled by a Griffiths delivery that cut in sharply.

Michael Faasen cover-drove his second ball for four but Stone soon had him caught behind and, after two consecutive maidens, Fortuin top-edged Griffiths to fine-leg where Ed Barnard held on.

The fielders looked for Kirsten, who had not batted in the first innings, to emerge but soon knew the game was up. It was fitting that man-of-the-match Barnard, whose 114 had rescued England from 89 for five and aided a first-innings lead of 119, took the winning catch.

Asked if England were anxious at lunch, Barnard said: "There were a few nerves, a few butterflies, but once you get out there your head’s on the game and you’ve just got to get yourself through really, show a bit of fight."

Stone, who overcame a dislocated finger to bowl in South Africa’s first innings, claimed six wickets in the game.

England manager John Abrahams said: "It wasn't just the win that made this an outstanding performance, but the manner of the win which was so pleasing.

“Fighting back from 14 for three and 50 for four, a century on debut by a 17-year-old, the captain dislocating a finger and having the courage to bowl the opposition out in the first innings, and the high standard of fielding and catching throughout the match are examples of the spirit and supportive qualities of this squad."

The second Test, for which South Africa have called up Tshepo Moreki as a replacement for Kirsten, is at Paarl from Sunday.

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