India’s lower order rallied from 106 for seven to 292 all out before England lost an early wicket in reply on the first day of the second Youth Test at Worcester.
The loss of opening batsman Harry Brook, which left England 19 for one at the close, sets up an interesting day two with India having just shaded today’s proceedings.
The hosts would have been very pleased with their morning’s work, reducing the visitors to 106 for five, and even more pleased seven balls after the interval when two more wickets had fallen but number eight Shivam Mavi was harder to budge, finishing on 86 not out and dragging India back into the game.
Mavi wasn’t dismissed in last week’s first Youth Test at Chesterfield and he offered strong resistance here, coming to his side’s aid after Surrey all-rounder Ryan Patel took four for 21. Patel was the most impressive of England’s bowlers, but Warwickshire man Henry Brookes will bowl far worse for more reward. Tall and rangy, he took two for 34 but found a dangerous length all day and beat the bat for fun.
Patel’s Surrey teammate Amar Virdi demonstrated notable control but opening bowlers George Panayi and Jack Blatherwick – the latter on Under-19 Test debut – were less economical. Panayi took two wickets and Blatherwick one, but they also bore the brunt of India’s opening batsman Prithvi Shaw. Shaw found the boundary with ease and is surely a player who’ll enjoy many more tours of England.
At just 18 Shaw already has a Ranji Trophy hundred to his name and he had little trouble in progressing to a fine half-century here. It was a surprise when he got a thin nick off the bowling of Patel and was taken at the third attempt by the juggling Harry Swindells behind the stumps.
The rest of India’s line-up – so impressive at Chesterfield – were largely kept in check by Patel. On the comeback from injury and with limits still in place on the number of overs he can bowl he wasted no time in making his impression, dismissing Kalra, Das and Nagargoti to make it four wickets in the space of four overs.
With him out of the attack Mavi coerced India's tail – Chahar, Sandhu and Tiwari – into providing him with more than adequate company and began to turn the day towards India. Chahar made 25 before becoming Blatherwick’s first Youth Test victim while Sandhu eased his way to 50 before top-edging the returning Panayi. Tiwari added 26 for the final wicket, with the innings ending when Brookes earned a much-deserved second scalp with the second new ball, skipper Max Holden taking the catch at slip.
Holden was in action again soon after, faced with batting out the day’s remaining seven overs. Although he lost Brook, and he watched Ryan Patel get dropped at slip off the first ball he faced, he’ll return tomorrow in his final Under-19 Test with this series result still in the balance.