Youngster shines in Under-19 Test win

Kishen Velani

Kishen Velani - Credit: Archant

Wanstead’s Velani helps England

Wanstead’s Kishen Velani helped England under-19s secure a Test match victory over South Africa in Cape Town this week.

Velani, a right-handed batsman for Essex second XI, steadied England’s slow start in their first innings, after they fell to 48-4.

He struck 10 boundaries in more than two hours at the crease, falling one run short of a half-century after facing 130 deliveries in a crucial innings, which went alongside Edward Barnard’s century on debut.

Velani’s efforts helped the tourists eventually post a useful total of 313 all out and they dismissed the home side for 194 in reply.

Although Velani could only score seven runs in his second innings, before he was out caught and bowled by Shaylin Pillay, England set their rivals a target of 270 for victory.

And it proved beyond the South Africans as they were all out for 163 on Wednesday.

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And Velani was disappointed to fall one short, but relieved that they recovered from a poor start.

“It was a great win for us, especially after the position we got ourselves into within the first hour on day one,” he said.

“I was disappointed not to get the half century, however I was thrilled for my team-mate Edward Barnard to get a century on his debut.”

Mahesh Velani revealed his younger brother had been drained by the effort involved, saying: “Kishen has not played much four-day cricket, so he’s mentally and physically tired.

“When he first got in the ball was moving around a lot. He said it was never a pitch where he felt he could really get in and he really had to graft for his runs.”

The second Test starts in Paarl on Sunday and Velani will also play in five one-day internationals.

Mahesh, meanwhile, will lead Redbridge into action at the London Youth Games indoor cricket qualifier at Harrow Leisure Centre tomorrow (Saturday).

Redbridge won the event last year and Velani will take his squad of eight across London for three qualifying matches against Ealing, Brent and Bexley.

The finals day will be held at Lord’s next month and Velani is hopeful of being there once again.

He said: “The boys have been training well over the last few weeks and are ready to go.

“We’ve got a mix of a couple of experienced boys who won with us last year and some younger ones too.

“We’ve got three games and the aim is definitely to qualify for the next stage.”