Cricket: Batsmen waste Headley's good work

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England A 294 & 151 South Australia 276 & 6-0

England A must stage an incredible recovery if they are to save themselves from a resounding defeat against South Australia at the Adelaide Oval after suffering an astonishing second-innings collapse.

The Kent fast bowler Dean Headley completed an impressive bowling performance to finish with 6 for 60 after claiming the last four wickets as the Sheffield Shield holders, resuming on 226 for 6, were dismissed for 276 to earn the tourists an 18-run first-innings lead.

But a combination of intelligent leg-spin bowling from Peter McIntyre, several rank bad shots and a dubious umpiring decision enabled South Australia to take a firm stranglehold on the match by dismissing England for just 151, leaving the home side a victory target of 170 with all of tomorrow's final day to reach it.

Openers Greg Blewett and Ben Johnson reduced the deficit by six at the close and only a monumental fightback can save England A from losing a first-class match for the first time since being beaten by Natal in January, 1994. McIntyre, who has just returned from Australia's doomed tour of India having gone as a replacement for Shane Warne, claimed 4 for 5 in 21 deliveries as England lost seven wickets for 29 runs in 17.4 overs.

Captain Adam Hollioake began the collapse by driving left-arm spinner Bradley Young to Joe Scuderi at mid-off having hit three fours in the same over.

Owais Shah followed five overs later after edging McIntyre to Jamie Siddons at slip and Mark Ealham, Warren Hegg - who looked to have played at but missed the ball - and Ashley Giles continued the collapse.

Young completed England's demise by ending Craig White's resistance before having Headley caught in the deep by Jason Gillespie.

Third day of four; England A won toss

ENGLAND A - First Innings 294 (W K Hegg 69, M A Butcher 73, C White 61; M A Harrity 4-61)

SOUTH AUSTRALIA - First Innings

(Overnight: 226 for 6)

T J Nielson c Vaughan b Headley 37

B E Young c Hegg b Headley 8

J N Gillespie c Butcher b Headley 10

P E McIntyre lbw b Headley 0

M A Harrity not out 0

Extras (b1, lb9, nb7) 17

Total (94.1 overs) 276

Fall: 1-6, 2-107, 3-171, 4-181, 5-216, 6-220, 7-239, 8-257, 9-263.

Bowling: Headley 28.1-9-60-6; Harris 6-0-24-0; Ealham 7-0-28-0; White 14-1-41-1; Hollioake 7-2-21-1; Giles 32-11-92-2.

ENGLAND A - Second Innings

M A Butcher lbw b Harrity 17

M P Vaughan b Scuderi 27

A McGrath lbw b Scuderi 19

O A Shah c Siddons b McIntyre 27

*A J Hollioake c Scuderi b Young 28

C White c Siddons b Young 9

M A Ealham b McIntyre 1

W K Hegg c Siddons b McIntyre 0

A F Giles c Siddons b McIntyre 0

A J Harris not out 4

D W Headley c Gillespie b Young 14

Extras (b1, nb4) 5

Total (67.4 overs) 151

Fall: 1-24, 2-65, 3-66, 4-122, 5-127, 6-131, 7-131, 8-133, 9-133.

Bowling: Gillespie 14-6-30-0; Harrity 11-4-24-1; Blewett 5-0-16-0; McIntyre 22-7-43-4; Scuderi 5-3-8-2; Young 10.4-2-29-3.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA - Second Innings

G S Blewett not out 2

B A Johnson not out 4

Extras 0

Total (for 0, 2 overs) 6

To bat: *J D Siddons, D S Lehmann, J A Brayshawe, J C Scuderi, T J Nielson, B E Young, J N Gillespie, P E McIntyre, M A Harrity.

Bowling: Headley 1-0-5-0; Harris 1-0-1-0.

Umpires: A J Hunter and R G Kinnear.

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