England die, after a short innings

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The Independent Online
ENGLAND HIT rock bottom in world cricket yesterday when New Zealand beat them by 83 runs in the final Test of the four-match Cornhill series at The Oval, with more than a day and a half to spare. The ignominy comes at a time when English cricket is struggling to hold on to its public.

It is only the second time in 68 years that England have lost a home series to New Zealand, the previous occasion being in 1986. The series defeat leaves England at the bottom of the unofficial Wisden World Championship table, a position occupied by New Zealand until today.

Yesterday's debacle was wrapped up 10 minutes after lunch. Mike Atherton had provided some hope with a battling 64, but his departure sparked a startling collapse as England lost their last seven wickets for 19 runs in just eight overs. Disappointed fans responded by booing and jeering the England captain, Nasser Hussain, during the post-match presentations.

Reports: Sports section

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