CRICKET: Cairns and Allott Test doubts

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The Independent Online
NEW ZEALAND have two injury doubts for the fourth and final Test against England starting at the Oval on Thursday.

The all-rounder Chris Cairns has a knee injury and did not bat in the tourist's second innings as they lost by an innings and 40 runs to an under-strength Essex at Chelmsford yesterday.

The pace bowler Geoff Allott, who played in the first two Tests but was left out for the third, has back trouble. The New Zealand captain, Stephen Fleming, said yesterday: "There has to be a big doubt about both players [for the Test]."

Fleming's side go into the decider - the series is level at 1-1 - after two poor batting performances against Essex. New Zealand, 257 behind after the first innings, were all out for 217 after starting the last day on 94 for 4.

n Maurice Odumbe was named Kenya's captain for the second time yesterday. Odumbe, who was sacked in 1997, takes over from Asif Karim. Odumbe captained his country to victory over West Indies during the 1996 World Cup, but lost the captaincy to Karim the following year after declining an invitation to play in the Netherlands.