England crash to seventh Test defeat running

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TED DEXTER, chairman of the England cricket selectors, came up with a novel explanation yesterday for the team's run of seven consecutive Test defeats after Australia had wrapped up the second Test at Lord's by an innings and 62 runs, writes Richard Weekes.

'Venus,' he said, 'may be in the wrong juxtaposition with somewhere else.'

Shane Warne, the Australian leg-spinner, had the right juxtaposition of ball and stumps as he bowled the last two England batsmen round their legs, the last wicket falling at 3.25pm.

Graham Gooch, the England captain, said he would not be resigning his post, while Dexter predicted that England would win the series 4-2. Australia's captain Allan Border offered a more realistic assessment: 'We're on a roll, they're in disarray, and now we're going for their jugular.'

On the first day of the All England Championships at Wimbledon, Andre Agassi, the defending men's champion, overcame a shaky start to secure a straight-sets victory over Bernd Karbacher of Germany.

The No 1 seed Pete Sampras arranged for his first-round match to be postponed until today because of a sore shoulder, while the man widely favoured to take Agassi's title, Stefan Edberg, met unexpected resistance from the Canadian qualifier Greg Rusedski before winning in four sets.

There were two home successes, Andrew Foster going one better than his namesake Neil had at Lord's, and Mark Petchey joining him in round two.

Test and Wimbledon, pages 32-34