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Debutant Agar’s World Record puts Aussies in command

Debutant Ashton Agar reacts after missing out on a debut hundred by just two runs on the second day of the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge on Thursday. Agar added a record stand for the last wicket with Philip Hughes and helped the tourists stage a recovery and take a 65 run lead.  

NOTTINGHAM, England (AP) — England was reeling on 11-2 at tea Thursday on the second day of the opening Ashes Test to trail by 54 runs after Australian teenage debutant Ashton Agar made the highest score by a number 11 batsman in a record last-wicket stand.


Agar scored 98 from 101 balls with two sixes and 12 fours, breaking the previous mark by a No. 11 of 95 by Tino Best for West Indies against England last year. Agar, the tail ender, lifted Swann for two sixes. In the 65th over he holed out and was caught by Swannoin the mid-wicket boundary.
 
Swann made it a point of shaking agar's hand, and the batsman manged a smile as he walked off the ground for a standing ovation.    
 

 

Who is Ashton Agar? 
The Australia's 19-year-old surprise Ashes debutant?
 
Who else but the grandson of Old Rajan,the Late Nala Hewawissa who was a member of the unbeaten Dharmaraja Cricket XI of 1942, under the captaincy of that undaunted all rounder and Senior Prefect, P.L.A. Alwis, who was the coach for Dharmaraja cricket team later. It was this team that beat Trinity for the first time in Dharmaraja History followed up with another thrashing the next year under the captaincy of T.B. Talwatte later Superintendent of Police and Priyahtha Talwattes's father. Priyantha too had the distinction of captaining Dharmaraja later. Nala played in this team too.The team was coached by the Late P. W. Perera who later became the cricket coach of Ananda which produced many distinguished cricketers of this time. Mr. L. H. Mettananda was the then Dharmaraja Principal then.
 
After leaving school, Hewawissa joined Shell Co. and played 1st class club cricket in Colombo. He moved to Australia, after the nationalization of Oil Companies in this country. His wife was Sheilagh who worked for the Ceylon Tea Board in Australia as Secratary. That is the grandmother of Ashton. Ashton's father John played for Prahan Cricket Club, Melbourne.
 
Nala Hewawissa was an enthusiastic member of the Old Rajans' Association of Melourne and was a regular attendee at all thier meetings and parties. After his death, his daughter presented a large stock of books to Dhamaraja Library, in his name. since his death, Old Rrajans of Melbourne do an annual alms giving in his memory at the Buddhist Temple, the last of which was on the day that Rajans played their last league Rugger match against Royal.
      
Ashton Agar is the first Australian teen ager to debut in an Ashes Test  encounter in 48 years. The famous Doug Walters was the last. Sri Lankan spinner, Rangana Herath is one of Ashton's cricket heroes. Ashton, the Western Australian who - at 19 years and 269 days - becomes the 12th youngest Aussie debutant of all time. Earlier, he represented Australia Under 19 in the Youth World Cup and was chosen to attend the Center for Excellence, on a scholarship last year.  
Cap in hand: Ashton Agar of Australia receives his Baggy GreenCap in hand: Ashton Agar of Australia receives his Baggy Green
Gareth Copley

Ashton Agar, not Kutcher, is making his Test debut in the white heat of Ashes cricket and their selectors will hope he doesn't turn to jelly.

The 19-year-old is a left arm orthodox spinner, perfect for Kevin Pietersen, or so the theory goes, but he is as raw as they come.

He has played just 10 first-class matches since his debut for Western Australia back in January, and even then he only got the chance due to an injury to the last great Aussie spin hope Michael Beer. Remember him?

Forget Pakistani asylum seeker turned Australian citizen Fawad Ahmed, the Baggy Green cap - presented by Glenn McGrath - will be worn by a young man of Sri Lankan heritage.

 

Ashton Agar of Australia shakes hands with captain Michael ClarkeSkip-ping ahead: Ashton Agar of Australia shakes hands with captain Michael Clarke
Gareth Copley
 

 

His grandfather Nala Hewawissa played cricket for Dharmarajah College, Kandy and has a trophy named after him.

Agar though is Australian through and through, and up until April of this year was very much a part of their youth set up.

He was an Australian Institute of Sport scholar, training at the Brisbane centre of excellence in the aftermath of his first taste of Sheffield Shield cricket.

Agar was taken on the tour of India for experience, where he bowled at the current squad in the nets and played in two practise matches taking 3-107 and 1-27 in the two games.

 

Bit of a blur: Ashton Agar ahead of the series
Ryan Pierse
 

 

A best bowling performance of 5-65 against South Australia caught the eye during last season and he was promoted from the Australia A squad to the full Ashes squad late, along with Steve Smith.

Speaking earlier this year Agar said: "Meeting up with the Australia squad is a good opportunity for me to learn how to bowl to better players.

"I can learn what I need to do to perform at an international level and that is the level I'd like to get to one day."

 
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