Cricket: Lee finds conditions to his liking

Derek Hodgson reports from Taunton Warwickshire 255 and 58-1 Somerset 242
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The Independent Online
Shane Lee may be no great advertisement for the Australian Academy's bowling coaches, but as a batsman he makes a few eyes sparkle. The 22- year-old New South Welshman was a name to gamble with when Somerset signed him as their 1996 deputy for Mushtaq Ahmed; he is unlikely to be forgotten by most English bowlers by the end of the summer.

He middles the ball with precision and despatches it with speed, confirming that he gets his feet into the right place at the right time. He may emerge as true a natural talent as last year's import from Brisbane, Andrew Symonds, although any lad born in Wollongong is unlikely to be confused about his affiliations.

He and Marcus Trescothick resumed yesterday with Somerset still 149 behind. Conditions had changed, the heat haze that had helped Andrew Caddick's swing on Thursday had dispersed in a cool wind but the pair had still to face the world's next great fast bowler, Shaun Pollock.

Fortunately for Somerset Pollock, 22, is still learning and strengthening while the other Warwickshire seamers are not much further advanced. The spinners, apart from one over by Neil Smith, were ignored.

Lee drove and pulled gleefully while Trescothick mostly defended; Lee's 50 contained 11 fours. In 17 overs 69 were added and Somerset were set to overtake the champions when another bullet-drive from Lee was diverted by Graeme Welch on to the stumps and Trescothick, for a second successive match, was run out backing up.

Another profitable partnership might have developed with Rob Turner had not Lee driven Welch exuberantly again for extra cover to take a forward diving catch. Warwickshire's lead, only 13, was extended to 71 before Wasim Khan was snapped up low at midwicket as the rain came.

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