Opener belts his second ton against England this year to put Australia in strong position in Worcester
Rising star Harry Dixon has starred on the opening day of the first youth Ashes Test, blazing a rapid century to establish early supremacy for Australia Under-19s at New Road.
After opening bowler Callum Vidler's five-wicket haul helped knock England U19s over for 174, Dixon nearly singlehandedly reduced the deficit to 14 by stumps as he blasted a superb century from 109 balls on a used pitch in Worcester.
The 18-year-old opener was 100no from 121 balls at the close of play. He went from 90 to 100 in the space of three balls from Jaydn Denly, with the left-hander eager to keep up the pace on a surface already taking turn.
"I tried to get it over and done as quick as possible," said Dixon. "There was a bit in the pitch early on but it had flattened out by stumps. It started to spin a bit like a day four wicket and there was a lot of rough around.
"Hopefully we can push onto 350-400 tomorrow, try and bat the whole day and see where the game goes from there."
England will be having nightmares of Dixon having been on the receiving end of his hitting in February when he belted 148 in a one-dayer and 84no in a T20, both at Allan Border Field in Brisbane.
On Friday, the Victorian batted with great authority and struck two sixes and 18 fours in reaching three figures.
Openers Sam Konstas and Dixon had laid the foundations to put on 46 in 11 overs, with the latter completing a 68-ball half century when he clipped Noah Thain through mid-wicket for his 10th four.
He then struck the first six of the day when striking Farhan Ahmed over wide long on, increasing the tempo in the closing part of the day and bringing up his ton in a grand manner with a straight six off Denly.
England captain, Ben McKinney, opted to bat on the same pitch used for this week’s County Championship match between Worcestershire and Glamorgan which ended with more than a day to spare.
"The scorecard now looks like we are a bit behind in the game but two or three quick wickets tomorrow can change things," said McKinney.
"If they are leading by 50-60, we can catch up very quickly.
"We had seen the scores from the game on the same pitch and thought we didn’t want to be batting last. Early conditions this morning, it was tough and they also bowled pretty well."
Vidler enjoyed a three-wicket burst in his initial spell to put England on the back foot, with the 17-year-old finishing with figures of 14-1-49-5, having also picked up five wickets on his Youth Test debut when helping Australia level last summer's two-match series against England in Brisbane.
Vidler, who took six wickets in three Youth ODIs at Beckenham and Hove ahead of the current Test, was given excellent support by off-spinner Harkirat Bajwa with a three-wicket haul.
Only Charlie Allison and Noah Thain were able to put together a substantial partnership - 77 for the fifth wicket - as England were bowled out in 50.1 overs.
Eddie Jack picked up two wickets for England but they will need to make early inroads on Saturday to prevent Australia building a substantial lead.
McKinney looked in excellent touch when opening the innings and reeled off a string of impressive boundaries including two in succession off Vidler.
But, after making 29 off 24 balls, Vidler had his revenge when McKinney was caught behind off a delivery which nipped away.
- with the ECB Reporters' Network