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South Africa Under-19s batsman Daniel Bedingham responded to the continued heroics of England captain Olly Stone with a counter-attacking 131 as the second youth Test at Paarl moved towards an intriguing conclusion.

After claiming two wickets on the second evening to take his tally to seven in the match, Stone struck on four further occasions today, completing second-innings figures of 6-48 and a stunning match haul of 11-79 from 44 overs.

However, Bedingham’s century, together with a patient 63 from Shaylin Pillay and Vassilli Orros’ unbeaten run-a-ball 50, enabled the Proteas to recover from 25 for four and declare on 320 for eight with a lead of 317.

Knowing a draw would be enough to secure the two-match series, England ended the penultimate day of four on 31 without loss, with first-innings centurion Dominic Sibley supported by Jonathan Tattersall.

Olly Stone

Olly Stone steams in on day three of the second youth Test with South Africa Under-19s. England's skipper completed match figures of 11-79

Stone’s new-ball partner Gavin Griffiths, who played a fine supporting role bowling into the wind, expressed confidence when assessing his side’s prospects.

“It’s going to be tough tomorrow, but with the spirit we’ve got in this side I think we can get through it and bat the day,” he said.

“I think maybe the pitch has flattened out a little bit. We’re not going to look to draw the game. We’ll look to bat the first two sessions and see where we are. If we’re in a position to win the game I’m sure we’ll try to do that.

“It was massive tonight. We knew pretty much from tea that we were going to have a tough period to bat tonight, and Dom Sibley and Tatty did really well to not lose a wicket. It was tough and they came out hard at us.”

An early finish appeared on the cards this morning as Stone inflicted further damage on a South Africa side that resumed on 17 for two.

Home captain Diego Rosier fell lbw to his opposite number in the day’s second over and Vincent Moore was bowled for one.

Pillay and Bedingham rebuilt impressively thereafter, but Stone eventually broke their alliance with the score on 119, having the former caught behind.

Another substantial stand took the Proteas past 200 before the relentless Stone dismissed Clyde Fortuin for 27 with the second new ball; at that stage, the paceman had 6-17 from 17 overs.

Bedingham continued to resist and received further support from Orros, who added a further 56 with Jan Frylinck after the centurion had departed to Josh Shaw.

South Africa declared following Frylinck’s departure, but were unable to make a breakthrough of their own as England’s opening pair set up a compelling finale.

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