Cricket: Lathwell makes no impression on tourists

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Australia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .431

Somerset. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .151-4

THE clamour to pit Mark Lathwell's rising talents against the Australians has not come from the Somerset player himself. A shy lad, he prefers to let his runs do the talking. He was very quiet yesterday.

After more than four hours watching rain falling and groundstaff mopping up, the talented 21-year-old was dismissed third ball for nought. With Andrew Caddick bowling disappointingly on Saturday, it completed a barren weekend for the watching Keith Fletcher.

The England manager may yet travel to Worcester with good news to report at tomorrow's Texaco Trophy selection meeting as Lathwell can expect another outing today. Somerset, replying to Australia's 431, were still 131 short of saving the follow-on at the close with six wickets in hand and a long tail to follow. With Tetley's sponsorship making these matches worth winning, the tourists will prefer victory to batting practice.

Not that they appear to need much of that. Michael Slater, with a flowing 122 in three hours, produced the highlight of Saturday's play but everybody tucked in, Border savagely, the Waugh twins with class, and even No 11 Craig McDermott hit 23 in 12 balls.

McDermott was even more forceful with the ball, nearly trapping Lathwell lbw the delivery before the batsman was caught behind playing flat-footed at a leg-cutter. McDermott, who then dismissed Richard Harden, well caught at third slip, bowled with enough hostility and pace to suggest the sight of English batsmen had enabled him to shake off the lethargy he has suffered due to a hernia problem over the last year.

His hunting partner Merv Hughes also had an encouraging afternoon. Although understandably rusty in his first bowl of the tour he betrayed no sign of his recent knee operation apart from some extra girth.

Tim May, the off-spinner who toured four years ago but failed to make the Test team, was also relieved at gaining his first wicket of the trip. May held one back to dismiss Chris Tavare off a leading edge ending a valuable innings of 62 the sprightliness of which will have surprised those Australians who only knew him as the turgid blocker of Brearley's England tour a decade ago.

The next over, Shane Warne, in a tight spell, dismissed Nick Folland, but Andy Hayhurst remained at the end after a patient 49 lasting three hours.