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Shubman's marathon century guides India U-19 to series win

After an emphatic 169-run win, India U-19 take an unassailable 3-0 lead

Shubman Gill stroked his second century of India’s Under-19 tour of England to set up another emphatic victory which sealed the Royal London One-Day Series with two matches to spare.

Gill, a tall 17-year-old right-hander from Jharkhand, followed the 102 he made in the second four-day match in Worcester with a hugely impressive innings of 147 from 127 balls, including 19 fours and two sixes.

That set up an imposing total of 327 for seven after Prithvi Shaw had won the toss and chosen to bat at the 1st Central County Ground in Hove.

Somerset’s Tom Banton posted England’s first half-century of the series in their reply, but nobody else made 30, and they were all out for a third consecutive sub-200 total with almost 10 overs to spare. England never really recovered from a shocking start when Durham opener Liam Trevaskis cut the second ball from Kamlesh Nagarkoti to the gully, where Himanshu Rana took an acrobatic juggling catch.
Nagarkoti struck again in his second over courtesy of another sharp catch, this time by Shaw at slip to dismiss Liam Banks.

England’s captain and vice captain, Harry Brook and Will Jacks, were both shaping with promise in a third-wicket stand of 27 before falling in consecutive overs – Jacks steering Nagarkoti to gully, and Brook caught behind driving at Shivam Mavi.

Tom Lammonby then joined his Somerset team-mate Banton in a sensible fifth-wicket stand of 52, only for the left-handed Lammonby to be bowled behind his legs by tall seamer Ishan Porel for 24.

Kent wicketkeeper Ollie Robinson was lbw sweeping at the left-arm spinner Abhishek Sharma, but Banton reached a 59-ball 50 by sweeping and reverse-sweeping Sharma for consecutive boundaries.

The right-hander from Taunton then launched his second six into the old pavilion, but perished from the next ball as a reverse sweep picked out Salman Khan on the deep cover boundary.

Matt Potts, a Durham all-rounder who was making his first appearance of the series, took four for 61 in the India innings, including Rana bowled by a beauty in his second over.

But Jacks was the pick of the attack with his off-spin, conceding only 40 from his 10 overs.

The teams now head west for the last two games of the series, in Bristol on Monday and Taunton on Wednesday.

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Won’t tinker much with playing XI: Virat

Indian captain hints at playing a similar team for final Test, hints at inclusion of Kuldeep Yadav in the side

There have been spells of showers here in Kandy with India managing just one full practice session before the start of the third and final Test. India were scheduled for an afternoon practice session, but due to specks of rains early in the morning, the team decided to call off their stint at the nets.

India captain Virat Kohli though was not too worried that the team didn’t get to practice on the eve of a Test. Instead, he saw it as a welcome rest for his team that had put in all the hard yards in the Test series so far. “You can say that we are certainly better placed to be able to afford a couple of days off. Yesterday we took an off voluntarily and today it just happened due to rain but the day before that we had a good practice,” Virat said. “Also, what you need to understand in places like Sri Lanka is that it is very hot and humid. People sometimes end up doing too much at practice and then maybe you don’t recover for a game. It might just be a good thing for those who needed more rest, especially the bowlers who have massive workload during Test matches.

“For us, it is more of a positive thing than a hindrance that we didn’t have practice a day before the game. We are in a good zone. Everyone is playing good cricket and everyone is bowling well. So, we feel absolutely comfortable going into the Test match even though we didn’t practice today.”

Though having sealed the series 2-0, Virat also hinted at not wanting to tinker with the playing eleven come the third Test. “We have to understand that to play consistent cricket you need to make sure that people are playing on a regular basis. Those who are performing and those who are doing well should continue in more games than not and to be a consistent side I think we need to have continuity as well. We want to play the same kind of cricket that we have and hopefully, retain the team that played the last game as much as we can. We are certainly not thinking of too many changes at all, especially in this format because you don’t want to start taking things for granted and lose that momentum. We are not thinking of drastic changes at this stage.”

Virat though seemed positive about the inclusion of Kuldeep Yadav in the playing eleven, especially with Ravindra Jadeja set to miss the Test. Kuldeep has been itching to be a part of the eleven ever since his inclusion in the side for the series and has been religiously making his way to the ground for every practice session. Yadav was seen in an intense bowling session on the day the team got a full stint at the nets. Keeping a close watch was head coach Ravi Shastri who later gave him a few words of advice. Virat too was all praise for the young Chinaman.

“A guy like Kuldeep, when you hand him the ball he is willing to bowl in any situation, willing to bowl with attacking fields, willing to throw the ball up towards the batsmen and he believes in his own ability and believes in deceiving the batsmen with the skill that he has. I think that is his biggest quality. He has proven himself in Dharamsala which was not such a spin friendly wicket. It was quite flat in the first 2-3 days of the Test match. He turned the game around for us. He has the ability, which is very rare to find. A Chinaman bowler is an x-factor in a team. I would say his confidence is his USP. He has a great chance of playing tomorrow and I wish him all the best.” 

Anand Subramaniam
Anand Subramaniam

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