Kent’s 18-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Jordan Cox scored an unbeaten 122 not out as England and Bangladesh Under 19s fought out a thrilling tie at The County Ground, Beckenham on Monday.
The Kent Cricket Academy graduate, who had featured in Kent’s win over Hampshire in the Vitality Blast the day before, carried his bat for England’s ‘Young Lions’ after Bangladesh won the toss and elected to field after a rain delayed the toss until 11:00 from a 11:15 start.
After England lost Ben Charlesworth in the second ball of the match edging to first slip, Cox became the anchor in which England built their innings round, batting alongside all ten of his teammates for 50 overs.
The Young Lions reached a tentative 49/2 at the end of the powerplay, as conditions greatly favoured the bowlers. More rain arrived with England on 98/4, at which point Cox had made 44 runs amongst England’s 26 overs so far.
When play resumed after a short break, Cox bought up his half century from 79 balls with five fours after nearly two hours at the crease.
His patience paid off when his seventh wicket partner, George Balderson, was able to fully get himself in on a trick surface and the two soon started to accelerate, putting on a 50 partnership in 48 balls, comparatively speedy to the run rate in earlier overs.
As England’s score ticked over 200 with Cox and Balderson still together, they bought up their hundred stand in 88 balls, Balderson passing 50 himself, in easing conditions for the batsmen.
Cox reached his century confidently with good running, his 100 coming from 136 balls with seven fours after over two and a half hours at the crease. The Young Lions only had a few overs left to go in their innings.
As England looked to post a competitive score in ever-improving batting conditions, Cox accelerated with another four and two sixes to take his individual total up to 122* at the innings break, helping England reach a score of 256/7.
For Bangladesh, Towhid Hridoy scored a century himself as Bangladesh reached the final over needing nine runs to seal victory on English soil.
George Hill did well not to concede any boundaries from the final over, but good running from Bangladesh saw them score two runs from each of the last three deliveries of their innings, taking their total to 256/6 and the match ending in a tie.
After the match, Cox said: “I’m really proud to have batted so well for England today.
“I’ve played a lot of cricket at Beckenham in the past few months but it’s great that I’ve been able to contribute to the team with my score against a strong Bangladesh side.
“I’m still learning my game and experiences like these definitely help me to improve.
“I can’t wait to continue to play for the Young Lions but I’m also excited to bring this experience with me back to Kent as we look to finish strongly in all formats this year.”
England Under 19s host India Under 19s at The County Ground, Beckenham this Friday.