Cricket: England's spirited show

Australia Under-19 127-7 v England
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The Independent Online
SOMERSET'S Matt Bulbeck was ready to bowl his eighth over, having dismissed Luke Williams as the ball began to move around, when he was told to take a rest. He looked angry.

The England manager, Tim Boon, explained later that an England and Wales Cricket Board directive said that no fast bowler was allowed more than seven overs in one spell, had to be rested for an equivalent length of time and could bowl no more than 21 overs in a day. In the past more than one county has complained of young quick bowlers returning from England under-age teams, in the words of one coach, "bloody knackered".

Having lost the one-day series 2-1 England were, in Boon's words, "up for this" and Durham's Michael Gough struck what might be a crucial blow by winning the toss and sending Australia in on a green, slow, damp pitch that helped the seamers and gave uneven bounce.

Backed by some smart fielding, the seamers Bulbeck, Richard Logan (Northamptonshire), Chris Liptrot (Worcestershire) and debutant Ian Hunter (Durham) shook Australia once play began just before tea.

The wicketkeeper James Foster (Essex) was another impressive newcomer.There does not appear to be much wrong with the spirit in this dressing-room.