Cricket: Lancashire caught out by Cuffy debut

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Lancashire . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129-9


OVERSEAS players ruled, but students of the obscure found something far more appealing. The first eight Lancashire wickets fell to catches at or close to the wicket on a foreshortened day in which the over-rate failed dismally to reach 14 an hour.

Comings and goings to the pavilion were a hindrance but then again, Surrey did little leather chasing apart from when Wasim Akram made a dashing half-century, with eight fours from 56 balls.

Lancashire, once 50 for 5, then 82 for 6, were put in on a seam bowler's dream. A greenish patch down the line of and just outside the stumps inspired Cameron Cuffy, Surrey's West Indian quick bowler, on his first-class debut in England. Cuffy made tea a delightful respite for Lancashire at 55 for 5.

Standing 6ft 7in and Jamaican-born, the 24-year-old Cuffy plays for the Windward

Islands and was recommended to Surrey by their captain, Alec Stewart, who saw him in action for the President's XI against England in Guyana on the

recent tour.

A delayed start until 2.45pm and the loss of a more than usually important toss, together with tumbling wickets turned Mike Watkinson's first Championship day as captain into a trauma.

Surrey's slip fielders pouched catches with regularity. Mark Butcher held four, as well as taking three wickets for 32 runs. Neil Sargeant, the wicketkeeper, held a juggling catch behind second slip and Hegg was caught by James Boiling in the gully.

A stoppage for rain interrupted Wasim's concentration, but not Joey Benjamin's as he held a one-handed reflex return catch. Cuffy's dismissal of John Crawley and Neil Fairbrother in the space of eight balls had

already asserted that English batsmen will have precious little relaxation this summer.