Cricket: Crawley is out on his own

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Lancashire 521; Somerset 103-5

JOHN CRAWLEY, the young Lancashire batsman knocking at the England door, did his best to batter it down completely yesterday, hitting a brilliant unbeaten 281 against Somerset at Southport.

The England A player could not have timed his effort any better with Ray Illingworth and the selectors meeting tonight to pick the squad for next week's first Test against New Zealand at Trent Bridge. One of the selectors, Brian Bolus, was on hand to watch Crawley's mammoth effort, as of course was the England captain, Michael Atherton.

Crawley, who began the day on 119 not out, cruised towards the second highest total of his embryo career - it was five runs short of his epic effort on the winter England A tour to South Africa - and was robbed of a persponal best only by running out of partners as Lancashire made 521 all out. The size of his achievement is borne out by a last-wicket partnership of 122 with the No 11, Alex Barnett. Barnett made 10.

Wasim was quick to make Lanashire's total look even more daunting when he had the ball in his hand, sending back Richard Harden Mike Trescothick and Andy Hayhurst, as Lancashire reduced Somerset to 105 for 5 at the close, still 266 short of avoiding the follow-on.