Sibley and Stone shine for U19s
Olly Stone continued his stunning form for England Under-19s after Dominic Sibley’s unbeaten hundred had secured a slender first-innings lead over South Africa in the second youth Test at Paarl.
Skipper Stone, a key contributor to England’s first-Test win, returned 5-31 on day one of this match and followed that up on the second evening by bowling both South Africa openers in a stunning opening spell of 5-4-2-2.
That helped limit the Proteas to 17 for two at stumps and a lead of 14.
Surrey opener Sibley had earlier carried his bat for an epic 112 spanning almost seven hours, ensuring England sneaked past South Africa’s score of 228.
Sibley was the only England batsman to pass 30, although Ben Duckett and Callum Jackson both played their part in useful middle-order partnerships.
Only the second player to carry his bat in a youth Test match, Sibley said: “Wickets were falling at the end, but you can’t take any notice of that. Even when I was batting with Stoney at the end, I just batted normally. I tried not to do anything stupid.
“Patience is definitely the key (on this pitch). If you bat time it gets a lot easier. I got a bit lucky; I was bowled off a no-ball.”
The tourists resumed on 53 for three, with Sibley and Duckett not out on 14 and nought respectively.
Duckett progressed to 29 before being caught behind off Shaylin Pillay in the day’s 20th over and Jackson then contributed 21 to a stand of 41 that ended when he was lbw to Michael Faasen.
With Sibley continuing to hold firm, England moved to 191 without further loss and looked set to establish a healthy advantage.
However, Ed Barnard then became the first of three victims for Vassilli Orros, with Miles Hammond and Josh Shaw both falling in the same over that saw Sibley bring up his century.
Gavin Griffiths also fell cheaply, but Stone hung around for almost 10 overs to help England edge ahead.
The captain then turned on the style with the ball yet again, bowling Murray Coetzee before a run had been scored and accounting for Andries Gous in his fourth over.
Pillay and Diego Rosier saw out the remainder of the day, but a run-rate of one an over illustrated the quality of England’s bowling.
Pressed on what sort of total England would be comfortable chasing, Sibley said: “I think the same again, what they got in the first innings. We would be happy with that.
“I’m not really sure how the wicket will play tomorrow,” he added. “The bounce was a bit uneven so we’ll see.”