Jake Doran passed 50 for the fourth-straight time on tour but it wasn’t enough to prevent Australia’s Under 19s going down to their English rivals in the third 50-over match at The County Ground in Derby overnight.
The Australians only managed 226 and were made to pay for dropping Dan Lawrence, an Essex batsman who spent last season at Geelong and used his experience to stroke a fine century to leave the Royal London One-Day series all square with two games to play.
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Lawrence should have been out for 27 when he top-edged Liam Hatcher to long leg in a fiery spell, but the chance went down and England’s opener powered on to 119 from 103 balls with 18 fours and a six.
Lawrence’s trip to Geelong was paid for on a scholarship funded by Graham Gooch, the former England captain who used to play for Essex, and he credits the trip for a breakthrough 2015 season in which he became the third-youngest player ever to score a century in the historic County Championship competition when he made 161 against a Surrey team including Kevin Pietersen in April.
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Even defending a small total, Australia exposed some nerves in the rest of England’s batting, with David Grant taking three quick wickets to reduce them to 7-200.
But the bowlers had been left with too much to do, and England won by three wickets with 11 balls to spare to bounce back from the heavy defeat they suffered in the first game of the series last week.
Australia’s captain Jake Doran had chosen to bat first in a day-night fixture televised live in the UK, and came in with two wickets down for 17 in the ninth over as England’s opening bowlers caused problems.
Jake Doran made a polished 69 // Getty Images
Doran (69) and Caleb Jewell (80) responded with a third-wicket stand of 137 in 31 overs, a new record for any partnership for Australia in 50-over matches in England, beating 116 between Greg Hayne and the great Adam Gilchrist at Lord’s in 1991.
Doran has now put together scores of 103, 76, 56no and 69 in his four innings on tour to date, however he and Jewell were both dismissed by off-spinner Brad Taylor and Australia struggled to get any momentum thereafter until Tom Healy and Jhye Richardson put on 47 for the sixth wicket.
As well as the dropped catch, Doran pointed to a loose start by Australia’s bowlers in a short session before the dinner break as Lawrence and Adam Hickey put on 47 in eight overs.
Other than Lawrence, the England batsmen again struggled against Australia’s spinners, with Jonte Pattison taking 3-37 and Arjun Nair bowling tightly.
But the series is now wide open before the last two games, at Leicester on Thursday and Worcester on Saturday.