Cricket: England's losing start in new game

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The Independent Online
England lost the first ever Cricket Max international series 2-1 to New Zealand after being beaten by 10 wickets in the last match in Wellington yesterday.

They were restricted to 69 for 7 in their second innings of 10 overs, and the Kiwi openers Phil Chandler and Mark Douglas reached the target of 96 with three overs to spare.

Derbyshire's Phil DeFreitas provided some consolation for England, who played four matches on consecutive days since arriving in New Zealand, when he claimed 5 for 38 in the hosts' first innings - the best figures in the game's 18-month history.

The England and Wales Cricket Board will seek the views of the touring squad following their first taste of Cricket Max, created by the former New Zealand skipper Martin Crowe to boost flagging interest in the game in his country.

John Carr, the ECB director of cricket operations, said: "We will be seeking the opinions of the players and management as to whether this new form of the game can play a role in generating further interest in cricket in this country."

Nottinghamshire are confident of signing the former England opener Jason Gallian from Lancashire, after a meeting with the player in London yesterday.

Gallian, about to start a two-week cricket tour of the Caribbean, has also interested Middlesex and Glamorgan, but Alan Ormrod, Nottinghamshire's cricket manager, said: "We have made Jason a very attractive offer, and he has promised us a decision on his return from the West Indies."

Shaun Pollock took four wickets in 13 balls as South Africa earned a nine-run win over Pakistan in the second match of the quadrangular one- day tournament in Lahore yesterday.

Set a target of 272 Pakistan lost three wickets for no runs in the first over.

Pollock dismissed Saeed Anwar with his first ball, trapped Aamir Sohail with his fourth and Ejaz Ahmed with his fifth. It was the first time in one-day internationals that a team had lost three wickets in the first over.

Pollock, the former Warwickshire pace bowler, then bowled Shahid Afridi for seven when Pakistan's score was nine.

An inspired 85 by Inzamam-ul-Haq and 59 by Moin Khan brought them back into the match with a partnership of 133.

Azhar Mahmood then hammered 59 off 43 balls but Pakistan still suffered their eighth consecutive one-day defeat against South Africa.

The visitors totalled 271 thanks mainly to 89 from Gary Kirsten and 51 by Daryll Cullinan.

Put into bat by Pakistan, South Africa lost Andrew Hudson in the third over, trapped lbw for two, but Lance Klusener and Kirsten added 90 and then Cullinan put on 98 with Kirsten for the third wicket.

Sri Lanka defeated West Indies in the opening match on Saturday and West Indies face South Africa today.

New Zealand, who begin a three-Test series against Australia in Brisbane on Friday, were forced to follow on against New South Wales in Newcastle yesterday as NSW's leg-spinner Stuart MacGill took a hat-trick.

MacGill took 3 for 55 as New Zealand were bowled out for 214 in reply to NSW's 469 for 6 declared. Batting a second time, New Zealand had advanced to 82 for 3 at stumps on the third day of the four-day game, still needing 173 to make the hosts bat again.

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