Australia’s Under-19s have had to share Test honours with England for the second time in five months, but coach Graeme Hick says he is delighted by the performance of his team.
As at the WACA in April, England were forced on to the defensive in the ‘youth Ashes’ Test in Durham after conceding a big first-innings total.
Australia's second-innings total of 6-253dec left the hosts requiring 308 in 47 overs for victory, a target England threatened an unlikely assault on before the captains eventually shook hands on a draw with the hosts 3-186 after 35 overs.
But the key for Hick was the way the Aussie youngsters adapted to the English conditions with which he is so familiar – and he thought they came through with flying colours.
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After Australia resumed at 3-91, Tasmanian left-hander Caleb Jewell became Australia’s third centurion of the match with a patient and disciplined unbeaten 109 in the second innings, after Jordan Gauci and Jake Doran had set the tone by each reaching three figures on the first day.
Doran added 76 from 127 balls in the second innings to secure the man-of-the-match award judged by the umpires Alex Wharf and Michael Gough, and there were wickets for David Grant, Sam Grimwade and Fletcher Seymour in England’s second innings, while Jhye Richardson again bowled well without luck.
England coach Andy Hurry presents Australia captain Jake Doran with his man-of-the-match award
“All in all we’re really pleased with the way our chaps have gone about it,” Hick said.
“For some of them it’s their first four-day game which is a totally different – it’s a long time when you’re not used to doing that. There was some good cricket from both sides but I feel we dominated the game so we’re pleased with that.
“I think we played very good cricket all the way through.
“The batters fought hard in the first session of the match and we came away with a couple of hundreds.
“Jordan Gauci was great and Jake played well through both innings - he had a bit of luck in the first one but showed his maturity. Our lower order did well with the bat - because they can bat and it’s good they realise they can do that.
“I thought all our bowlers worked really hard. There wasn’t much in the wicket so both England and our quicks worked hard for all they got. Jhye picked up the five for us, he’s just got maybe an extra yard up his sleeve.”
Of Jewell, who grafted for more than five hours and hit 12 fours, Hick said he believed the Tasmanian was well-suited to the four-day game.
“He played very well – I’m pleased for him. Even the first innings he played well until he miscued that one.
“I think the four-day game suits him. He leaves the ball very well, he knows where his off stump is, he’s a good judge of line, he always looks very composed at the crease and he seems to have a lot of time.
“Today when he went out to bat on 30-odd I said to him, ‘You go and get yourself a hundred’, and he did that.”