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Mixed emotions for Stone

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Olly Stone focussed on the positives following England Under-19s’ defeat to their South Africa counterparts that ensured the Test series was drawn 1-1.

The tourists began the final day on 31 without loss with the main aim being to bat out much of the day before potentially targeting a victory total of 318.

But, after being made to work hard for the initial two breakthroughs as Jonny Tattersall struck a defiant 63, the hosts’ spinners eventually made the difference as England were dismissed for 250.

The 67-run success for South Africa meant the spoils were shared following England’s 107-run triumph in the first encounter.

Olly Stone & England Under-19s

Olly Stone, middle, was left with mixed feelings following England Under-19s' 1-1 Test series draw against South Africa Under-19s

Stone, made captain when a broken finger forced Shiv Thakor to pull out prior to the opening Test, was understandably disappointed yet keen to talk up his side’s efforts in the rubber.

He admitted: “After the first Test and how far we came here, getting about 60 runs short, it is disappointing. But it’s been a great effort by all the boys and I think we can hold our heads up high.

“Everyone has gained loads of experience playing in different conditions and facing up against different bowlers. I think everyone deserves credit for the way they have gone about it.

“Everyone got stuck in over the four days and that's a credit to them. Not one day has there been a bit of doubt. From day one all the way to the end we went at it hard. It's just unfortunate we didn't get over that hurdle.

“I think everyone in this team deserves some credit. They have given their all and everyone has done really well.”

Speaking about the forthcoming five-match one-day series, Stone added: “Going into the one-dayers we are looking forward to it and hopefully we can build on this series.”

Stone’s opposite number, Diego Rosier, was relieved to get out of the series with a positive result, admitting England were dominant for large parts.

“We have a lot to learn,” he said. “England dominated us in six of the eight days we played in the two Tests. We're looking forward to the ODI series coming up.”

He added: “We always knew that once the pitch crumbled our spinners would play a part. The spinners put us nicely back in the game and the quickies finished it off.”

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