Cricket: Crawley makes runs and music: England A waltz to victory as McCague makes strike on his return

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England A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .260-6

W Transvaal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .178-7

England A win by 82 runs

IT MAY be an isolated and insular farming town, but they clearly recognise class here Yesterday, in his first senior innings for England, John Crawley was saluted with a burst of Handel's Messiah as he revealed a talent that suggested he may well be the long-term saviour of English batting.

Hugh Morris and Alan Wells, who are in line to be called upon to provide divine intervention as replacements in the Caribbean next spring, were similarly acclaimed as England A eased to their second successive tour win.

The accolades came as part of a gimmick one fears to mention lest the Test and County Cricket Board marketing men read about it. Each half-century was greeted with two choruses of 'Whaaaat a 50, what a 50, what a 50; he's got 50 on the boarrrrd. What a 50]' to the melody of the 'Hallelujah' chorus. There were also jingles for fours, sixes and wickets, to the tune of Little Brown Jug, which made for a very noisy time during the customary late-innings slog.

What we did not get was Waltzing Matilda, though it was appropriate as Martin McCague made a spectacular return from injury with a wicket in his second over.

Western Transvaal only gained first-class status three years ago and have yet to win a match. Though nine of their side were Afrikaners, it was one of the exceptions, the West Indian, Tony Gray, once of Surrey, who struck first, dismissing Mark Lathwell off a mis-hook.

That brought in Crawley, who stroked his first ball through the covers for four. Eight more boundaries and a six followed as he made his runs in 130 balls. 'He played very well,' Phil Neale, the England A coach, said. 'He is very strong through the leg- side but today he showed us some other shots.'

He added 88 with Morris and 106 with Wells as England professionally underlined the gap in ability between the sides. Crawley was eventually caught at backward point in the slog that heralded a clutch of wickets.

It did not take McCague long to make a daunting 50- over target even steeper. With his 12th ball in his first bowl since breaking down with a stress fracture of the back in the Headingley Test in July, he had Hennie Coetzee well caught at second slip by Wells.

Martin Bicknell, the Surrey seamer, then hit the stumps with his first delivery, bowling the captain, Hermanus Prinsloo, and though Andre van Deventer played some defiant shots in his 50, the local side never threatened to overhaul England.

(Western Transvaal won toss)

ENGLAND A

M N Lathwell c Celliers b Gray . . . . . . . . . . 11

* H Morris lbw b Dirkie de Vos . . . . . . . . . . 55

J P Crawley c Dirkie de Vos b Baird . . . . . . . .88

A P Wells c Botes b Baird . . . . . . . . . . . . .61

A Dale run out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

] S J Rhodes c Van Deventer b Gray . . . . . . . . .2

R D B Croft not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

M P Bicknell not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

Extras (b2 lb8 w13 nb6) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29

Total (for 6, 50 overs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269

Fall: 1-29 2-117 3-223 4-247 5-249 6-249.

Did not bat: M J McCague, M C Ilott, P M Such.

Bowling: Gray 10-1-31-2; Baird 10-0-73-2; Botes 10-0-40-0; Celliers 8-1-31-0; Peens 6-0-39-0; Dirkie de Vos 6-0-36-1.

WESTERN TRANSVAAL

D de Vos c Dale b Such . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

H Coetzee c Wells b McCague . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

* H P Prinsloo b Bicknell . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

A Van Deventer c McCague b Croft . . . . . . . . . 52

Dirkie de Vos run out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21

A Cilliers lbw b Croft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

A Gray b Bicknell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

L Botes not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

] M Hook not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

Extras (lb5 w9 nb1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

Total (for 7, 50 overs). . . . . . . . . . . . . .178

Fall: 1-7 2-32 3-99 4-141 5-141 6-159 7-168.

Did not bat: F Baird, J Peens.

Bowling: McCague 10-1-39-1; Ilott 10-1-28-0; Bicknell 10-0-43-2; Such 10-0-24-1; Croft

10-1-39-2.

Umpires: R Koetzen and E Bailley.

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