Cricket: Crawley drops back to reality

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The Independent Online
England A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 566-5 dec

Eastern Province . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .192 and 185-4

THE PARK behind the St George's cricket ground was alive yesterday as more than a thousand locals and tourists thronged the 'Art in the Park' flea market. On the other side of the imposing Duckpond End Stand barely a hundred watched England A move slowly towards their sixth successive victory.

The market-goers got it right as England, for the first time this tour, met the stubborn resistance South Africans are renowned for.

When they secured a 374- run first-innings lead 40 minutes before lunch yesterday, England's players were already pondering whether to spend today's extra day off on the golf course or the beach.

Instead they return today with six Eastern Province

second-innings wickets still to claim, though the lead, at 189, remains substantial.

While Eldine Baptiste, with 56 not out, and Andre Botha - with an unbeaten 52 in 58 overs - showed the resolution Province required England had only themselves to blame as eight catches were missed.

The chief culprit was John Crawley who was brought back to reality after his innings of 286. Perhaps tired after nearly 10 hours batting he dropped two slip catches and eventually banished himself to mid-on.

Crawley's most glaring and expensive drop was that of Baptiste, who edged Mark Ilott in and out of his right hand when on seven. The other was a sharp one off Robert Croft from Philip Amm, who then edged the same bowler between him and Steve Rhodes.

Botha was reprieved before scoring by Mark Lathwell at short leg and Alan Wells at silly point soon after. Both were off the suffering Croft, who had earlier taken 5 for 41 in the first innings.

(Third day of four; Eastern Province won toss)

ENGLAND A - First Innings 566 for 5 dec (J P Crawley 286, A P Wells 126, H Morris 79).

EASTERN PROVINCE - First Innings

(Overnight: 127 for 8)

] G Morgan not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

R Lyle b Croft. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

G Roe c Lathwell b Croft. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

Extras (b1 lb13 w1 nb15). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Total. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192

Fall (cont): 9-178.

Bowling: Such 7-1-23-0; McCague 9-4-32-1; Ilott 12-3-35-1; Cork 16-3-47-3; Croft 16-6-41-5.

EASTERN PROVINCE - Second Innings

M C Ventner lbw b Cork. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

P G Amm c Ilott b Croft. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

A Botha not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52

L J Koen c Rhodes b Cork. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

S Pope c Rhodes b McCague. . . . . . . . . . . . . .31

*E A Baptiste not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58

Extras (lb5 w2 nb4). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

Total (for 4). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185

Fall: 1-34 2-36 3-36 4-84.

Bowling: McCague 18-7-38-1; Ilott 16-4-36-0; Croft 18-6-34-1; Cork 13-4-31-2 Such 15-3-41-0.

Umpires: R Koertzen and R Noble.

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