Cricket: Hamstring injury ends Morrison's tour

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The Independent Online
Gloucs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .286-9 dec and 368-7 dec

New Zealand . . . . . . . . . . . . .295-5 dec and 222-9

Match drawn

DANNY MORRISON'S tour exit, the aftermath of recurring hamstring troubles, has far more severe consequences than New Zealand's struggle in this match, just three days before the second Test against England at Lord's.

Morrison, their prime strike bowler since the retirement of Sir Richard Hadlee, is returning home, probably to be replaced by an England-based league player.

After an early-morning net, Morrison accepted the inevitable, having played for the first time in three weeks and bowled only 36 first-class overs on tour.

His final act was dramatic, limping out as last man without a runner and blocking nine of the last 15 balls to draw a bizarre match. It deprived Gloucestershire of pounds 4,000, the Tetley Bitter Challenge prize for beating the tourists, who had attempted to chase 360 from what became 68 overs.

Precisely 500 runs were amassed. Sadly, most were meaningless as New Zealand's occasional bowlers, Martin Crowe, Bryan Young and Adam Parore, a wicketkeeper forsaking his pads, made heavy donations to provide Gloucestershire with more than enough runs to set a target.

The plan that the tourists would give and then take away misfired. They solved the imponderable - how to encourage Gloucestershire - and almost succumbed to the improbable, losing to a side with something resembling a pop- gun attack.

Matt Windows matched the fastest hundred of the season, off 71 balls with 18 fours, set by Ken Rutherford against Glamorgan last Friday - but his maiden first- class century was mostly scored off gentle lobs.