Ball and Bell-Drummond feature for England U19’s

Tuesday 18th January 2011

Kent players Adam Ball and Daniel Bell-Drummond (pictured) performed well for England under-19s as they drew the first Test match on their tour of Sri Lanka.

The Galle International Stadium pitch produced a run-fest and a draw was always the most likely result, but the Kent pair still played their part in a solid England display.

The hosts batted first and made 415. Ball took the new-ball and proved to be the most economical of the Three Lions attack. He returned figures of 1-47, from his 18 over stint, including the wicket of dangerman Dhananjaya de Silva for 84. The mainstay of the Sri Lankan innings was captain Bhanuka Rajapaksa who hit a sparkling 149. His opposite number, Lewis Gregory, responded with 3-54.

In reply, England took control of the match. Bell-Drummond got the innings off to a flier as he and fellow opener Nottinghamshire“s Sam Wood added 66 inside 12 overs before they both fell in quick succession. The Kent man had made 35, including seven boundaries, before he was bowled by Sanitha de Mel. England, however, kept up the momentum with Gregory (62) and Shiv Thakor providing able support to wicketkeeper batsman Adam Rossington as the Middlesex man blasted 113. All-rounder Ball also contributed superbly down the order. His composed knock of 65 enabled England to gain a healthy lead.

The pitch remained flat though and Sri Lanka never looked like collapsing in their second-innings as the game petered out into a draw. However, there was still time for Ball to showcase his all-round skills as he bowled Rajapaksa, a centurion in the first innings, for 31, to finish with figures of 1-29 off eight overs – a fine effort in an innings where the hosts scored at four runs-per-over. Sri Lanka finished on 324 for six as honours remain even going into the second and final Test-match in Colombo on Thursday.

After the game the Club“s official website grabbed the thoughts of Kent“s High Performance Director Simon Willis and he was understandably very happy with the efforts of the two Academy products: “Adam has made a great start to the tour – with bat, ball and in the field. Economy-wise he was the pick of the England attack. To go at under four runs an over in Sri Lanka is an outstanding effort. He did well in the field and is turning himself into a good slip fielder. He took a couple of good catches and wants to become a specialist in that position. He batted well. I’m not sure you can ask for too much more. Overall, it was an excellent contribution. The challenge now is to back it up in the next match.

“Knowing Daniel as I do, he will be a little frustrated at getting a start with the bat and not going on. Talking to him though it sounded as if he got a decent yorker to dismiss him. I know he will be looking forward to his next innings hungry to score runs; he is that type of individual.

“Ultimately, this is going to be a challenging trip for both of them because pitch and weather conditions will be testing but they can be pleased with their efforts in the first Test.”