Cricket: Alleyne's men sustain record run

New Zealand A 155 & 159 England A 309 & 6-0 England A win by 10 wickets
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The Independent Online
ENGLAND A'S unbeaten record in first-class cricket, which now stretches back 36 matches to January 1994, is safe going into the next century after a 10-wicket triumph over New Zealand here won the two-match "Test" series 1-0.

Mark Alleyne's side produced a superb performance in difficult conditions to seal the win inside three days. The two sides had drawn at Christchurch in the first "Test".

David Sales was the architect of England's victory by scoring his second century of the tour to help the tourists reach 309 all out in their first innings for a lead of 154. The A team manager, Mike Gatting, said: "It's been a very good performance which all went to plan. The bowlers did a magnificent job on the first day and the batsmen got stuck in and then the bowlers came up trumps again.

The morning started well for England A when Sales managed to shepherd the lower order batsmen through to a first-innings lead of 154. Sales, who was 60 overnight, reached his hundred in 213 minutes off 147 balls with 17 fours and a six. He was superbly supported by the tail-enders after Alleyne's team had resumed the third morning on 235 for 7.

Then, in a devastating session before lunch, England A destroyed New Zealand's top order while only conceding 13 runs. Alamgir Sheriyar bowled Gary Stead for three, Paul Franks removed Matthew Sinclair lbw and he also did for Lou Vincent, who was caught down the leg side by the wicketkeeper Rob Turner.

After the interval, England's bowlers cut a swathe through the batting order despite being hampered by a buffeting wind. James Kirtley snapped up Matthew Bell, who sent a top-edge flying high behind Turner allowing Sales to make a stunning catch at first slip.

New Zealand's captain Mark Richardson and Scott Styris offered some resistance with a 57-run stand, but once they were parted victory for the tourists was inevitable.

England needed just six to win in their second innings, and the openers Michael Gough and Ian Ward achieved their target off just 10 deliveries.

Third day; England A won toss

NEW ZEALAND A - First Innings 155.

ENGLAND A - First Innings

(Overnight: 235 for 7)

D J Sales c Wiseman b Mason 105

P J Franks c Styris b Wisneski 15

R J Kirtley c Hopkins b Drum 0

A Sheriyar not out 12

Extras (lb1 nb4) 5

Total (97.5 overs) 309

Fall (cont): 8-269 9-270.

Bowling: Drum 27.5-8-63-2; Mason 19-3-60-3; Wisneski 29-8-98-2; Wiseman 11-3-29-2; Styris 11-3-58-1.

NEW ZEALAND A - Second Innings

G R Stead b Sheriyar 3

M D Bell c Sales b Kirtley 5

M S Sinclair lbw b Franks 3

L Vincent c Turner b Franks 0

*M H Richardson c Schofield b Kirtley 43

S B Styris c sub b Franks 29

G J Hopkins c Solanki b Schofield 33

W A Wisneski c Turner b Sheriyar 15

P J Wiseman c sub b Solanki 2

M J Mason not out 20

G J Drum run out 0

Extras (b2 lb3 w1) 6

Total (62.1 overs) 159

Fall: 1-3 2-7 3-7 4-20 5-77 6-102 7-125 8-130 9-142.

Bowling: Franks 12-3-32-3; Sheriyar 12-3-33-2; Kirtley 12-4-31-2; Schofield 15.1-5-38-1; Solanki 11-1-20-1.

ENGLAND A - Second Innings

M A Gough not out 5

I J Ward not out 1

Extras 0

Total (for 0, 1.4 overs) 6

Did not bat: V S Solanki, M E Trescothick, *M W Alleyne, D J Sales, R J Turner, C P Schofield, P J Franks, R J Kirtley, A Sheriyar.

Bowling: Mason 1-0-4-0; Wisneski 0.4-0-2-0.

Umpires: D M Quested and E A Watkin.