Cricket: Bamboozled by Brown

Worcestershire 96 Warwickshire 97-4 Warwickshire win by 6 wickets
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The Independent Online
The pitch at New Road may have allowed the seam bowlers too much movement in the morning, but not enough to explain away Worcestershire's collapse to 56 for 9 in the first 24 overs of the day after they had been put into bat.

In an extraordinary first hour Dougie Brown, sharing the new ball with Allan Donald because of Tim Munton's back injury, removed Worcestershire's first four batsmen for a personal cost of 20 runs in 5.3 overs.

At a lively medium pace he brought the ball back into the right-hander, although there was nothing especially devilish about any of it.

In fact, he began his first over with a deep square leg, a position which became more understandable when his first ball, a gentle long hop, was dispatched far over the mid-wicket boundary for six by Steve Rhodes.

In his second over, Philip Weston sliced an off-drive and Dominic Ostler held a fine catch two-handed low to his right in the gully. Graeme Hick pushed forward to the next ball and survived a loud lbw appeal but later in the over pulled another long hop for four.

In Brown's third over Rhodes tried to cut a ball which was too far up and too close to him and played on. Tom Moody then square drove Donald to the point boundary with the shot of the day before he also misjudged Brown's length and was bowled off the inside edge playing back.

The mystery so far was not only Brown's success but Donald's lack of it. He bowled superbly from the New Road End but, for some strange reason, was unable to locate the stumps or the edge of the bat. The irony was that, when Graeme Welch replaced him, Hick mistimed an on-drive at his second ball and was caught high up at mid-on.

In the next over Brown took his fifth wicket when David Leatherdale cut at a wide one and was caught behind. Brown finished with 5 for 31 from his 10 overs and the Gold Award.

It was Gladstone Small who ruled out any dramatic Worcestershire recovery by quickly picking up the next three wickets. The last pair of Phil Newport and Stuart Lampitt then put together a stand of 40, which was much the biggest of the innings, without any apparent trouble.

Rain lengthened the interval by almost half an hour and then it was the turn of Warwickshire's batsmen to pay the penalty for their carelessness. Brown drove, bat away from his body, and was caught at first slip, Neil Smith glanced and was caught behind and David Hemp drove and was comprehensively bowled.

It became 36 for 4 when Andy Moles carved at a short one from Lampitt and was bowled off the under edge when it kept low. Trevor Penney then joined Ostler and, watchfully at first and then with increasing fluency through the covers and off their legs, they saw Warwickshire home with an unbeaten stand of 61 in 17 overs.