England Under-19s suffered a chastening eight-wicket defeat by India in front of the Sky Sports cameras in Canterbury to leave them 2-0 down in the five-match Royal London One-Day Series against India.
As in the opening match of the series in Cardiff on Monday, England’s batting floundered against the Indian spinners, as they crumbled from 84 for one to 123 for seven.
Anukul Roy took four wickets for the second consecutive game with his slow-left-arm, and there were three for leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, and two for Abhishek Sharma, another left-armer.
The tourists cruised to victory with more than 16 of their 50 overs remaining, with Himanshu Rana, an 18-year-old opener from Haryana who has been struggling for runs on the tour, making 74 from 85 balls.
England made four changes from the team beaten in Cardiff. Harry Brook, who had originally been appointed captain for the series before being called back by Yorkshire for their Specsavers County Championship match against Essex, replaced Hampshire’s Felix Organ at number three, and also took over the captaincy from Surrey’s Will Jacks.
Essex seamer Ben Allison and Derbyshire off-spinner Hamidullah Qadri received their first England caps before the start from Graham Thorpe, the ECB’s lead batting coach, and Warwickshire seamer Henry Brookes also came into the team – with Nottinghamshire’s Liam Patterson-White, Worcestershire’s Adam Finch and Jack Plom of Essex dropping out.
Brook won the toss and England made a promising start after he chose to bat, with Durham opener Liam Trevaskis hitting two boundaries in the first over.
Trevaskis and Warwickshire’s Liam Banks both played India’s new-ball partners with comfort, sharing an opening stand of 48 in eight overs.
But as soon as India turned to their spinners, it was a very different story. Chahar made the first breakthrough, having Banks stumped for 23 from 28 balls with five boundaries. Brook’s initial response was impressive, as his first scoring shot as England captain was a six over mid-wicket off Chahar. He also drove two straight fours off the medium pace of Yash Thakur, as England reached 84 for one in the 16th over. But then Roy, picking up where he left off in Cardiff, claimed the key wicket of Trevaskis, bowled for 35 from 52 balls.
In Roy’s next over Brook top-edged a sweep to mid-wicket, and suddenly the pressure was on England’s middle order. Jacks swept one six in his 21 until he was also bowled by Roy, and Somerset’s Tom Banton fell in the same manner.
Kent wicketkeeper Ollie Robinson had a nightmare on his home county ground when he was run out for a duck off a free hit, and Brookes also failed to score as he was stumped off Sharma.
Somerset’s Tom Lammonby played sensibly and found some support first from Qadri in an eighth wicket stand of 19, and then from Nottinghamshire’s Jack Blatherwick in adding another 33 for the ninth wicket.
But Blatherwick and Allison fell to consecutive balls from Chahar to leave Lammonby unbeaten on 30 from 46 balls, and it was obvious from the start of India’s reply that England’s total was inadequate.
Rana and Prithvi Shaw put on 110 inside 17 overs before Jacks had Shaw snapped up by Banton at mid-wicket. Shubman Gill then joined Rana to make steady and untroubled progress towards the target, and leave England with much to ponder before the third game of the series in Hove on Saturday.
At least Allison claimed the consolation of his first England wicket, as with India needing only five for victory, Rana top-edged a pull to Blatherwick at deep square leg. The Essex youngster had earned commendable figures of one for 13 from his first five overs, dented only slightly when Shubman Gill clipped him for the winning boundary.