Cricket: Gifford stung by collapse

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The Independent Online
England A 152; South Australia 47-1

NORMAN GIFFORD, the England A team manager, criticised his side's disappointing batting performance against South Australia in Adelaide yesterday. Bowled out for 152 on the first day of a four-day match, Gifford said he had expected twice the number of runs at the Adelaide Oval against the weakest attack in the Sheffield Shield.

'That was a 280 to 300-run wicket,' Gifford said, after England had been dismissed in just four hours. 'It was certainly not a 152 all out pitch.'

He had no quarrel with Martyn Moxon's decision to bat on a square looking full of runs, but a deluge, which drove the players off for 20 minutes, livened up the pitch and after Mike Roseberry was trapped leg before by Denis Hickey for 30, England A collapsed.

Only Moxon, Jack Russell and David Millns offered a semblance of resistance. Hampshire's Tony Middleton failed again, raising his runs total to 68 in seven tour innings, and Mark Lathwell and David Capel were out to bad strokes.

The dismissals of Graham Thorpe and Dominic Cork were farcical. Thorpe was thrown out by Ashley Hammond from short-leg just two balls before lunch when Moxon was desperate to consolidate, and Cork was so mesmerised by Peter Sleep's leg-break that he allowed the wicketkeeper, Tim Nielsen, to perform one of the slowest stumpings on record.

Millns, returning from a fortnight's absence with an Achilles injury, batted doggedly for an hour and a quarter for an unbeaten 21 as Sleep, the former Australia Test bowler, mopped up the tail, conceding only 11 runs from his 14 overs.

South Australia weathered a brisk spell with the new ball from Millns and were 47-1 at the close, just 105 runs behind.

(First day of four: England A won toss)

ENGLAND A - First Innings

T C Middleton c Webber b Reeves. . . . . .12

M A Roseberry lbw b Hickey. . . . . . . . 30

* M D Moxon c Hammond b Hickey. . . . . . 28

G P Thorpe run out. . . . . . . . . . . . .2

M N Lathwell c Wigney b Reeves. . . . . . .8

D J Capel b Reeves. . . . . . . . . . . . .7

R C Russell c Nielsen b Hickey. . . . . . 22

D G Cork st Nielsen b Sleep. . . . . . . . 1

D J Millns not out. . . . . . . . . . . . 21

M C Ilott lbw b Sleep. . . . . . . . . . . 6

P M Such lbw b Reeves. . . . . . . . . . . 2

Extras (lb5 w1 nb7). . . . . . . . . . . .13

Total. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152

Fall: 1-42 2-61 3-71 4-79 5-92 6-115 7-116 8-122 9-143.

Bowling: Reeves 13.4-2-57-4; Wigney 16-4-29-0; Hickey 13-4-34-3; McIntyre 8-4-16-0; Sleep 14-7-11-2.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA - First Innings

G S Blewett b Cork. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14

A Hammond not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

J A Brayshaw not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Extras (nb6). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Total (for 1). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Fall: 1-29.

To bat: * J D Siddons, D Webber, T J Nielsen, P R Sleep, D Reeves, D J Hickey, B Wigney, P McIntyre.

Bowling (to date): Ilott 6-2-10-0; Millns 8-1-14-0; Capel 7-0-12-0; Cork 5-1-11-1.

Umpires: D Harper and G Robinson.