Rawlins, Fisher star in England win
England U-19s 256 for 7 (Rawlins 107*, Brook 51, Nagarkoti 2-36) beat India U-19s 233 (Rana 101, Fisher 4-41) by 23 runs
A sensational display of power-hitting from Delray Rawlins helped England recover from 126 for 6 to post 256, a total they defended by 23 runs at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Rawlins, a languid left-handed batsman who has previously represented Bermuda, hammered eight fours and five sixes in his 88-ball 107 to lead England's stunning fightback. He followed that up with 2 for 46 from his 10 overs as England took a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
England were precariously placed at 98 for 4 in the 26th over when the debutant Rawlins walked in and he was forced into strike rotation early against India's nagging spinners. But even after two more quick wickets sucked out the momentum and fluency from England's innings, Rawlins was keen to attack spin.
He got to his fifty with a slog-swept six that just cleared deep square leg, sparking an acceleration that helped England pass 150. Rawlins' batting became increasingly exuberant as his innings wore on, as he stepped out against spin to hit three sixes over long-on. He added 116 with Matthew Fisher for the seventh wicket, of which the England captain contributed 26. Rawlins offered just one chance, on 80, when he top-edged a hoick off a low full toss, but the short third man fielder dropped the catch.
India's discipline soon gave way to errant bowling towards the end. Fast bowler Yash Thakur hardly missed his yorker in his final spell, but wayward lines in his attempts at variation helped England pick off plenty. Rawlins plundered 53 off his last 33 balls.
What a day, under 19 debut - hundred - 2fer, but most importantly the boys pulled off a great win @englandcricket roll on the second odi!— Delray Rawlins (@delraw09) January 30, 2017
Unlike the end, India were accurate at the start. Their seamers used a patchy green surface and nippy morning conditions to reduce England to 13 for 3 in the seventh over, all batsmen caught behind the wicket.
Opener Harry Brook and Ollie Pope played some impressive strokes to lead England's recovery, putting on 85 for the fourth wicket. On an atypically grassy surface, India's spinners didn't extract much turn but, with England's inability to find the gaps regularly, a tight line was effective. Brook was involved in a nasty incident in the 12th over. He stepped out to fast bowler Thakur, only for a bouncer to break his helmet, raising concern among India's fielders who rushed to his aid.
Chasing 257, opener Himanshu Rana continued his stellar form with his third 50-plus score at the Under-19 level, striking an 87-ball 101 to push India close. Rana faced no trouble in finding the boundary early in his innings even as the rest of India's batsmen struggled with the bounce in the pitch.
Prithvi Shaw, a Ranji Trophy runner-up with Mumbai, was consistently hurried by Fisher. He finally wafted at a length delivery outside off and the England players celebrated. The umpire raised his finger almost instantaneously, to the dismay of Shaw.
Shubman Gill shovelled a drive to short midwicket to fall for 29 off 27, a result of hard hands through the line of the ball. Captain Abhishek Sharma cut a wide delivery to Rawlins at point, giving Fisher his third wicket. India's struggles got worse when Rawlins trapped Salman Khan and Mayank Rawat in front off consecutive balls, both non-turning deliveries.
Rana was proficient with cross-batted strokes, as well as jabs at straight deliveries to accrue singles. At no stage did he look out of place. Soon after a fatigued celebration for his second hundred in three games, he gloved a pull to the keeper, a blow that all but sealed England's win.
Led by Fisher, England's attack kept to their plans, employing a consistent back of a length, and the short ball sparingly. Their fielding was discernibly better than India's, saving several boundaries with athletic stops, a characteristic that - along with Rawlins - helped prove the difference in a close contest.
Nikhil Kalro is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo