Cricket: Croft's profit balances Ilott's loss: England A overcome injury to leading bowler to record 10th tour win

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England A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216

Griqualand West . . . . . . . . . . . . . .134-8

England A win by 82 runs

AN injury scare aside, this was the perfect day for England A. A comfortable win yesterday, their 10th in 11 games, match practice for the players who needed it most, and all achieved in a relaxing atmosphere typical of up-country tour matches.

The scare revolved around Mark Ilott who, having taken the two key Griqualand West wickets, complained of a back- muscle spasm. Losing Ilott, who had a major back operation in August 1991, would have been a grievous blow as he has been the bowling success of the tour with 24 first- class wickets at 14 apiece. Happily, after manipulation from the physiotherapist, and a bit of rest, he felt fine and should be fit for tomorrow's tough match with Orange Free State.

Also in contention is Ilott's fellow left-armer, Paul Taylor, who had his first bowl since replacing Martin Bicknell. Although his opening spell was rusty, his second, in which he took 1 for 7 in five overs, impressed.

Already thoughts are turning to the 'Test' and, with the possibility growing of only playing five specialist batsmen, Robert Croft and Dominic Cork were promoted to gain much-needed batting practice. Both responded, Croft making 51 and Cork 47 in a 93-run fourth-wicket partnership that put England's innings beyond reach.

Having started at a rush, John Crawley pulling his first two balls for four and six, England lost three wickets in seven overs giving Croft and Cork a rare opportunity to play themselves in. That done, Cork regularly charged the bowling before being caught in the gully while Croft, who had failed to reach double figures in seven tour innings, made an 84-ball half-century. He survived both a chance at 31 and a joust with fate, being prematurely acclaimed for his 50 due to an innumerate scoreboard which, along with a myriad kids' matches, braais and picnics around the outfield, lent the game an Arundel-type air despite the nearby diamond spoil heaps.

Any chance Griqualand West had disappeared in the seventh over when John Morris, having already been troubled by Darren Gough, scooped Ilott to midwicket where Crawley took a good, diving catch. The former Lord's ground staff boy, Finlay Brooker, made 30 and Frans Viljoen a powerful 44 but, with Paul Kirsten - the youngest of the famous brothers - being run out without facing, the last 12 overs yielded only 19 runs. The run-out, by Cork at point, highlighted an improved field performance by England, who were immensely grateful for an unseasonably cool day with temperatures way below the customary high 90s.

KIMBERLEY: England A won by 82 runs.

(Griqualand West won toss)

ENGLAND A

M N Lathwell lbw b Van der Vyfer . . . . . 23

J P Crawley c Angel b Van der Vyfer . . . .28

A Dale lbw b Angel . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

R D B Croft c Johnson b Williams . . . . . 51

D G Cork c Brooker b Johnson . . . . . . . 47

] S J Rhodes c Williams b Johnson . . . . .12

A P Wells c Morris b Johnson . . . . . . . 18

* H Morris c Viljoen b Van der Vyfer . . . 15

D Gough c & b Johnson . . . . . . . . . . . 5

M C Ilott b Johnson . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

J P Taylor not out . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Extras (b1 lb5 w8) . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Total (49.4 overs). . . . . . . . . . . . 216

Fall: 1-47 2-60 3-62 4-155 5-164 6-191 7-193 8-206 9-208.

Bowling: Johnson 10-1-33-5; Swanepoel 10-0- 63-0; Angel 10-2-24-1; Van der Vyfer 9.4-0-34- 3; Williams 10-1-56-1.

GRIQUALAND WEST

* J E Morris c Crawley b Ilott . . . . . . .6

W E Schonegevel c Rhodes b Ilott . . . . . .4

F C Brooker c sub b Dale . . . . . . . . . 30

B E Van der Vyfer c Rhodes b Cork . . . . .20

F Viljoen c Dale b Taylor . . . . . . . . .44

] P Kirsten run out . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

D Datnow lbw b Croft . . . . . . . . . . . .0

M Angel not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

J E Johnson b Gough . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

B K Williams not out . . . . . . . . . . . .7

Extras (lb4 nb4) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

Total (for 8, 50 overs). . . . . . . . . .134

Fall: 1-10 2-13 3-48 4-30 5-93 6-94 7-115 8-118.

Did not bat: A J Swanepoel.

Bowling: Ilott 5-2-6-2; Gough 10-2-21-1; Taylor 10-2-24-1; Cork 7-1-25-1; Dale 10-1-38-1; Croft 8-0-16-1.

President Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari has sacked Pakistan's Board of Control (BCCP) and named a three- man committee chaired by the former Test captain, Javed Burki, to run the Board's affairs. A brief government announcement yesterday gave no reason for the action, taken by the president in his capacity as the BCCP's patron, though domestic criticism has been rife since last year's ill-fated tour of the Caribbean.

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