Cricket: Hussain and Thorpe revitalise England

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England 293 for 4 v West Indies A

Nasser Hussain, ably assisted by Graham Thorpe and Adam Hollioake, built an England recovery against West Indies A at Chedwin Park yesterday.

Hussain and Thorpe produced an assured stand of 184 runs on the opening day of the four-day match, after England had been rocked by the West Indies' pace bowling apprentices, Nixon McLean and Reon King.

Alec Stewart, John Crawley and the captain, Mike Atherton, were swept away in a 22-ball spell to leave England lurching at 30 for 3 after being asked to bat first in their second tour match.

But Hussain and Thorpe, reviving memories of their match-winning stand in the Edgbaston victory over Australia last summer, ensured no further embarrassments in the last game before the first Test at Sabina Park in a week's time. Thorpe eventually fell for 81, caught by King trying to pull the leg-spinner, Rawl Lewis, but Hussain went on to collect a deserved century.

Hussain was undefeated on 131 at the close, by which time Hollioake had struck a rapid 33. England's total was 293 for 4 - a major improvement on their status after their morning mishaps.

Hussain was dropped at slip off McLean when on five. but went on to reach his century in 307 minutes off 217 balls, hitting 13 fours.

Atherton and Stewart negotiated the early overs as McLean, picked in the West Indies squad for next week's first Test, worked up a very lively pace. But Stewart soon had his leg stump ripped out by King as he attempted a drive and succeeded only in diverting the ball off the inside edge into the stumps.

Crawley departed second ball, pushing out at King and giving a catch to Keith Semple at second slip, and then Atherton was taken at the third attempt at second slip by the substitute fielder, Kerron Baker.

First day of four; West Indies A won toss

ENGLAND - First Innings

*M A Atherton c sub b McLean 8

A J Stewart b King 12

J P Crawley c Semple b King 0

N Hussain not out 131

G P Thorpe c King b Lewis 81

A J Hollioake not out 33

Extras (lb18, nb10) 28

Total (for 4, 90 overs) 293

Fall: 1-24, 2-24, 3-30, 4-214.

To bat: R C Russell, A P Cowan, A R Caddick, A R C Fraser, P C R Tufnell.

Bowling (to date): McLean 19-4-68-1; King 17-3-68-2; Williams-12-4-20- 0; Collins 16-4-55-0; Lewis 25-9-65-1; Hinds 1-0-2-0.

WEST INDIES A: L V Garrick, K F Semple, W W Hinds, *R I C Holder, F L Reifer, R L Hoyte, L R Williams, R N Lewis, N A M McLean, R D King, P Collins.

Umpires: N Malcolm and T Wilson.