CRICKET : England A finish with a flourish

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Bangladesh XI 365-6 dec

England A 421-7

Match drawn

David Hemp and Nick Knight brought England A's hugely successful tour of India and Bangladesh to a close with a third-wicket stand of 283 on the last afternoon of the three-day game in Dhaka yesterday, which ended in a draw.

Hemp, batting for just under seven hours, scored 190 from 339 deliveries, hitting four sixes and 16 fours. Knight contributed 150 - his third century in four innings - as England piled up 421 for 7 in response to Bangladesh's first-innings total of 365 for 6 declared.

Afterwards Alan Wells, the captain of a team which lost just once in the entire two months - the first one-day international against India - paid tribute to Ray Illingworth and his selectors. "Ray and his panel did a brilliant job as far as I am concerned. It was a privilege for me to captain such a good side.

"They picked the perfect blend of batsmen, left and right handers, to cope with India's spinners. We had a fine line-up of match-winning spinners ourselves, and our swing bowlers always performed to inflict damage when it was most needed."

Of the tour itself, Wells added: "It's been very tiring but the players should feel immensely proud of themselves for what they have achieved. If I had to mention a word that bests sums up our strength, it would be adaptability. We were well prepared at Lilleshall and if things went against us we were prepared to change our game accordingly.

"We showed fight, we showed discipline. The team responded to everything the coach and myself demanded. It should be remembered that the majority of this tour party had each played no more than 40 first-class games before this winter. We were very inexperienced but, in terms of results, this tour has been more successful even than the 1993-94 A-tour to South Africa."

(Final day of three; Bangladesh XI won toss)

BANGLADESH XI 365 for 6 dec (Aminul Islam 121, Minhazul Abedin 81).

ENGLAND A - First Innings

(Overnight: 148 for 2)

N V Knight c Akram Khan b N Rahman 150

D L Hemp c Mohammad Rafiq b M Abedin 190

G Chapple st Khaled Masud b E Hoque 26

R L Johnson c Mohammad Rafiq b M Abedin 1

K J Piper b Akram Khan 7

M M Patel not out 0

Extras (b10 lb6 w2) 18

Total (for 7, 127.1 overs) 421

Fall: 1-34 2-72 3-355 4-402 5-413 6-418 7-421.

Did not bat: *A P Wells, I D K Salisbury, R D Stemp.

Bowling: Anisur Rahman 14-3-54-0; Saiful Islam 15-3-45-1; Enamul Hoque 26-7-72-2; Mohammad Rafiq 19-1-70-0; Naimur Rahman 28-5-85-1; Aminul Islam 11-1-38-0; Minhazul Abedin 11-1-36-2; Akram Khan 3.1-0-5-1.