Olly Stone returns record bowling figures as England Under-19s chase series win
Norfolk's Olly Stone recorded the best ever match figures by an England bowler in a Youth Test yesterday – but his Under-19 team still face an uphill task to complete a series win against South Africa at Paarl.
Stone, who plays club cricket for Vauxhall Mallards and professionally for Northamptonshire, returned match figures of 11 for 79 from 44 overs, including a second innings haul of six for 48. He claimed the first six wickets to fall in the South African second innings, but the hosts then added 119 runs for the loss of just two more wickets to set England a daunting victory target of 318.
By the close of the third and penultimate day yesterday, England had reached 31 without loss.
The former Thorpe St Andrew High School pupil's figures bettered the previous record set by former Essex, Northants and Surrey spinner Richard Pearson in 1991. Among an illustrious group of players to have taken 10 wickets in a Youth Test are current England spinner Graeme Swann and former Test players Richard Illingworth and Ryan Sidebottom. England played their first Youth Test in 1974 and Stone has joined a list of captains which includes David Gower, Mike Gatting, Nasser Hussain, Michael Vaughan, Andrew Flintoff and current England skipper Alastair Cook.
Stone had already bagged two early wickets in the South African second innings late on the second day and it did not take him long yesterday to add to his tally as he trapped Diego Rosier lbw with his second ball of the day.
He then bowled Vincent Moore for one to make it 25 for four and after a spell of resistance from the fifth wicket pair, Stone completed his 10-wicket haul by having Shaylin Pillay caught behind for 63.
After resting himself for a spell, Stone, pictured, returned to the attack and struck with his fourth ball to break an obdurate sixth wicket stand of 69 between David Bedingham and Clyde Fortuin as the latter was caught by Harry Finch.
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But Bedingham went on to pass his century and with Vassilli Orros adding a quick half-century, South Africa were able to declare on 320 for eight, leaving England with 13 overs to negotiate.
Openers Jonathan Tattersall and Dominic Sibley saw them safely through to the close and Stone's side need another 287 runs to win on the final day.
England, who won the first Test by 107 runs, will resume their bid to wrap up victory in the two-match series at 8am today.