Good day for Jack, Craig and George
Three of Somerset’s players currently involved in the England Pathway have received a boost today.
Jack Leach was included in the England Lions’ starting XI for their four-day Test against Sri Lanka A.
The 25 year old spinner finished on 17 not out as the England Lions finished the opening day of the match on 339 for nine.
Jack’s England Lions team mate Craig Overton was not selected for the match but it has been announced that he will replace Matt Coles in the MCC team for the 2017 Champion County match in Abu Dhabi on Sunday 26th March.
The Somerset bowler will once again team up with Jack Leach and also Lewis Gregory in the side which will take on Middlesex at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Coles was forced to withdraw after sustaining a toe injury playing for Kent Spitfires in a pre-season tour of the West Indies.
Elsewhere George Bartlett was in the runs again for the England Under 19s.
England still had work to do to avoid defeat against India when they resumed their second innings on 34 for two, only 21 ahead and with overnight batsman Dan Houghton unable to bat because of illness. However, George and Delray Rawlins, who have been two of the big successes of the tour, defied India’s range of spinners on a wearing pitch in a partnership of 121.
George batted well into the afternoon session to make 76, giving the Somerset right-hander an aggregate of 323 runs in the two-match series at an average of more than 80.
England were eventually dismissed for 255 and the teams shook hands on a draw.Regarding his impressive tour George said: “It was good to get some more runs in the last innings. It was very important for the team that we got off to a good start on day 4 when the pitch was turning. Delray Rawlins and myself dug in and made sure we were there at lunch. Obviously we would have liked to win the series but to come to India and draw the test series is something we can all be proud of.”
After the match Head Coach Andy Hurry said: “Rawlins and Bartlett were outstanding in closing out that morning session. The ball was turning, and there was some uneven bounce as well. But they both showed great maturity as well as skill. Like everyone else in our squad, they will go back home for the 2017 season and the rest of their careers having learned so much from the experiences we have all enjoyed out here in India.
“As with the experiences they’ve gained out in the middle, we’ll only know the value of that, to them and to English cricket, when we see how their careers pan out. But I’m confident that everyone will go home having gained from the experience, and a number of them will take a large amount of confidence from having competed at this level against a very determined India team.”