Cricket: England v West Indies Fraser to force pace on right side of line

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The Independent Online
Angus Fraser missed the party in Montego Bay. Now the big Middlesex bowler is in the mood to pop a few corks of his own against West Indies A in tomorrow's match. David Field reports from Kingston, Jamaica.

Angus Fraser did have the chance to share in the fun as Dean Headley, Andy Caddick and Phil Tufnell collected the wickets in England's innings eclipse of Jamaica at Jarrett Park on Sunday.

England's old warhorse watched most of the proceedings from the boundary edge virtually in the old-fashioned long -stop position, backing up the wicketkeeper, Jack Russell, who was having a tough time coping with deliveries which shot through on the deck.

Fraser hardly broke sweat. He delivered only seven overs in the match and those were from the opposite end to where Headley and Caddick were causing havoc on the atrocious pitch. He ideally wanted 60 to 70 overs before the first Test at Sabina Park in eight days' time.

That is no longer possible, so Fraser will be revving up harder in the two practice sessions which precede the last match before the Test, starting with the West Indies A game at Chedwin Park, Kingston.

"You want to get involved, join the party," said Fraser, who looked the pick of the quick bowlers in the sessions at the Kensington Club here before the squad moved on to Montego Bay.

"There was one end to bowl at and the others deserved to be there because they bowled better than me," he said. "It would have been good to have got up to that end, to have got some overs under my belt, but hopefully that will happen during the next week.

"I'd be lying if I said those seven overs in the match were the best I'd bowled in my life. But I'm not unduly worried about it - I'd just like to join in. I now want a good bowl and to get some wickets so that I can come off feeling as though I've contributed and not just watched it all."

Fraser, like the rest of the bowlers, is acutely aware that England must cut down their no-ball tally. They overstepped 31 times against Jamaica and, in the Caribbean heat, cannot afford to be bowling seven and eight- ball overs.

"We've got to work at it to try and eliminate it in the next week or so," Fraser said. "Imagine getting Brian Lara out cheaply only for it to be called a no-ball and then he goes on to get a big score. That would be criminal.

"We've got to make sure we keep our front feet behind the line. It's something we are aware of. We have been no-balling in practice and that wasn't an acceptable level of no-balls in Montego Bay.

"When you get bowlers running in a full pelt trying to propel a cricket ball as fast as they can, you're not going to get it right all the time. Olympic triple-jumpers don't always get it right."

The Guyana Cricket Board is pressing on with ticket sales for the third Test scheduled to start between the West Indies and England next month, despite political instability and street disturbances in the area.

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