England Under-19s went agonisingly close to their first victory of the Royal London One-Day Series against India, but for head coach Andy Hurry the one-run margin of defeat under the DLS method in a rain-affected match reflected a much-improved performance by the Young Lions.
Durham opener Liam Trevaskis, Hampshire’s Felix Organ and Somerset all-rounder Tom Lammonby each hit a half century, and Lammonby followed that with a stunning boundary catch to dismiss India’s stylish number three Shubman Gill.
When the umpires took the players from the field in heavy drizzle, India were 151 for four off 28 overs in their pursuit of an England total of 276 for eight – a single run ahead of the DLS par score.
To England’s mounting frustration, the rain prevented any chance of a resumption – but Hurry has urged his players to draw extra confidence as well as motivation from this match, as they aim to finish the series with a win in Taunton on Wednesday.
“I think we’ve seen real progress today,” he said.
“The two opening batters [Trevaskis and Warwickshire’s Liam Banks] played with intent and intelligence. Organ and Lammonby also demonstrated excellent game intelligence in their partnership, rotating the strike, staying patient and with the intent of playing down the ground. That was really pleasing. From a bowling perspective we started really well, we were always trying to take wickets, and Will Jacks started with two wickets in two balls.
“I think the lads will take confidence from how they’ve competed, and will have a real edge about them on Wednesday ensuring they try to win this final ODI.”
India’s captain Prithvi Shaw chose to bowl after winning the toss on a grey morning, leading a team with four changes – as Shiva Singh, Sundararaman Radhakrishnan and wicketkeeper Harvik Desai came in for their first appearances of the series.
England made two changes to the team beaten in the third game at Hove on Saturday, with Derbyshire’s Hamidullah Qadri returning in place of Liam Patterson-White, and Organ replacing Somerset’s Tom Banton, who had a minor hamstring problem.
Trevaskis and Banks provided their best start of the series with a stand of 66 inside 11 overs. Banks hit five boundaries in making 28 from as many balls until he was undone by the introduction of Singh’s left-arm spin, and captain Harry Brook was smartly stumped by Desai later in the over.
But Trevaskis, a Cumbrian left-hander who plays for Durham, added two straight sixes to seven fours in reaching a 48-ball half century, only to edge Shubman Gill’s off-spin to Shaw at slip.
That left England 97 for three and in danger of squandering their promising platform. But Lammonby, who was promoted one place to bat at number five after shaping well in each of his three previous innings in the series, joined Organ to share an excellent fourth-wicket partnership of 107.
They fell in consecutive overs, Organ bowled by Shivam Mavi for 61 from 81 balls, and Lammonby lbw to the left-arm spin of Anukul Roy for 50 from 65.
England then lost momentum as Ollie Robinson, Jacks and Qadri all fell to Singh, who ended with five for 38 from his 10 overs.
But new-ball partners Matt Potts and Henry Brookes linked up in a ninth-wicket stand of 29 in 16 balls – and Brookes then struck a big blow when India launched their reply, as Shaw chipped a simple catch to Jack Plom at mid-on.
Jacks, who has bowled tidily throughout the series, then made a remarkable start as Desai was lbw to his first ball, and Radhakrishan flicked the second to Organ at mid-wicket.
The Surrey man was denied a hat-trick, and Shubman then led an India counter-attack, following his century at Hove by cruising to 66 from 57 balls.
But then he was the victim of Lammonby’s boundary brilliance, as he flicked the ball into the air before toppling over the rope, and then dived full length to catch it again after returning to the field - to leave the game intriguingly poised when the rain intervened.