Cricket: Atherton looks to a final summer as England improve
Tuesday 14 January 1997
Michael Atherton yesterday revealed that he would like one more attempt at beating Australia this summer before bringing his four-year reign as England captain to a close.
His tenure as captain, however, depends on a successful second leg of the tour and although Atherton continued his wretched run of form, England produced an improved performance on the opening day of their match against a New Zealand XI.
Craig White took 4 for 15 and the pace men, Dominic Cork, Andy Caddick and Chris Silverwood claimed wickets as England dismissed a team containing eight Test players for 138.
Then, despite Atherton's early departure for seven, they reached 106 for 3 by the close as Nick Knight and Alec Stewart took a shine to the home attack. Atherton's failure coincided with a candid admission that the pressures of the captaincy were beginning to affect him. "I can't see me doing it much longer," he said. "If the second part of this winter's tour goes well, then I would like to do the job in the summer against Australia. If it does not go well, then I won't be doing it any longer. That much is obvious."
At Fitzherbert Park yesterday, Atherton never threatened to compile a sizeable innings. He edged Danny Morrison just short of the wicketkeeper, Adam Parore, and also fended off a lifting delivery that lobbed dangerously close to gully. An inside edge against Robert Kennedy brought two more runs but, having steered the young pace man for a four, Atherton fell to the 16th ball. He went back and across to a Kennedy delivery that moved in off the seam and looked plumb lbw. Steve Dunne, the umpire, certainly thought so .
"We must have confidence that runs will come for Mike, and they will," David Lloyd, the England coach, said. "We've got to give him our full support. He's a quality player who is just out of form a bit at the moment." Atherton's problems overshadowed an all-round performance more encouraging than almost anything produced by England in Zimbabwe.
Once Caddick had broken an opening stand of 48 by having Blair Pocock caught in the slips off a lifting delivery, success came at regular intervals. Atherton held a spectacular catch in the gully to remove Parore after he had cut Silverwood, Craig Spearman dragged White's first delivery into his stumps and, before long, the home side were struggling at 98 for 7.
First day of four; England won toss
NZC SELECT XI - First Innings
B A Pocock c Thorpe b Caddick 16
C J Spearman b White 41
A C Parore c Atherton b Silverwood 0
M A Horne c Silverwood b Cork 22
*M J Greatbatch c Cork b White 5
L G Howell c Caddick b Cork 10
J T C Vaughan b White 24
P J Wiseman c Stewart b Silverwood 0
M J Haslam run out 8
D K Morrison c Thorpe b White 4
R J Kennedy not out 1
Extras (lb4 nb3) 7
Total (57.4 overs) 138
Fall: 1-48 2-53 3-58 4-81 5-93 6-97 7-98, 8-125 9-137.
Bowling: Cork 17-7-42-2; Caddick 16-3-48-1; Silverwood 12-4-24-2; White 9.4-3-15-4; Tufnell 3-0-5-0.
ENGLAND - First Innings
N V Knight c Parore b Morrison 46
*M A Atherton lbw b Kennedy 7
A J Stewart not out 40
A R Caddick c Parore b Morrison 7
N Hussain not out 0
Extras (lb4 nb2) 6
Total (for 3, 33 overs) 106
Fall: 1-19 2-94 3-106.
To bat: G P Thorpe, J P Crawley, C White, D G Cork, C E W Silverwood, P C R Tufnell.
Bowling (to date): Morrison 10-2-20-2; Kennedy 8-2-31-1; Vaughan 7-2- 29-0; Wiseman 7-1-22-0; Haslam 1-1-0-0.
Umpires: S D Dunne and D Quested.
Latest in Sport
Pornhub: Cheeky Liverpool fan uploads Philippe Coutinho wonder-goal video to adult website
Diego Costa keeps coin thrown at him during Capital One Cup final
Lukas Podolski corner: Has the Arsenal forward taken the worst corner of all time?
Ireland 19 England 9 player ratings: Jonathan Sexton? Devin Toner? Alex Goode? Who was the star man in Dublin?
Eden Hazard didn't like the champagne on offer in the Chelsea dressing room
- 1 Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 Pornhub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opening has arisen ...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Join a worldwide leader in data-driven marketi...