Groundsman puts England to shame with brilliant catch

A groundsman has shown up the England players with a brilliant diving catch during their tour match against the Cricket Australia XI.

England went wicketless in the first session on Saturday, flubbing a number of chances.

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And their woes were made even worse when the head groundsman at the Townsville venue took a ripper classic catch on the boundary.

What a catch! Image: Cricket Network

Matt Short deposited Mason Crane for a six over long on, before the groundsman produced a big dive to take a wonderful catch.

Considering Crane had already had four catches dropped off his bowling already in the match, it only rubbed salt in the wounds.

England went a demoralising four hours without a wicket, with grade cricketers Short and Jason Sangha scoring unbeaten centuries.

Just five days out from the first Ashes Test and on the last day of their final warm-up match, England looked lost for answers on Saturday in the Townsville heat.

The 18-year-old Sangha became the second youngest player to score a first-class century against England behind Sachin Tendulkar.

What a knock from Sangha. Image: Getty

Most worryingly for England, their attack includes Stuart Broad, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes, and they are potentially only missing James Anderson for the side who will play at the Gabba.

They threatened only once on Saturday to take a wicket, when Sanga cracked a full toss from legspinner Mason Crane to Mark Stoneman at cover but he grassed it.

Making the pair's stand even more concerning for England is the fact neither has even played Sheffield Shield cricket. They have five first-class matches and a total of 195 runs between them before this week.

Teenager Sangha is highly heralded as a future star in NSW, having played under-19s for Australia.

Only two weeks ago, Short was playing grade cricket in Melbourne, scoring only 11 for Northcote against Carlton.

The workload at least allowed offspinner Ali to get through 17 overs on Saturday morning, after having claimed two scalps on day three, as he continued his return from a side strain.

Test hopeful Craig Overton is also yet to have any success, returning 0-65 from his 15 overs. Main rival Jake Ball returned from a sprained ankle to field for England and sent down some overs in the nets.

YOUNGEST PLAYERS TO SCORE FIRST-CLASS CENTURIES AGAINST ENGLAND:

* 17y, 107d - Sachin Tendulkar, India, 1990

* 18y, 68d - Jason Sangha, CA XI, 2017-18

* 18y, 223d - Hashan Tillakaratne, Sri Lanka, 1985-86

* 18y, 246d - Mushtaq Mohammad, Pakistan, 1962

* 18y, 250d - Gursharan Singh, India U-22, 1981-82

* 18y, 290d - Adrian Barath, West Indies A 2008-09

*** Age at start of match. Source: Cricinfo

with AAP