Cricket: Lord's is the spur for May

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The Independent Online
Australians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .317-7 dec

Warwickshire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .184-8

TOUR GAMES around the shires have been given extra meaning by cash incentives from the sponsors, but Tim May, the Australian off-spinner, needed no additional motivation yesterday.

The increasing probability of being selected for the Lord's Test next Thursday was the spur for May, who took 3 for 58. Despite his influence and an innings of 116 by Damien Martyn, Warwickshire survived the loss of three wickets in five balls to save the follow on before the ground was flooded by a thunderstorm.

Andy Atkinson, Warwickshire's philosophical head groundsman, planned to be out at first light today mopping up, much to the relief of the tourists, who need to win six of their remaining nine matches against counties to scoop a pounds 50,000 jackpot.

May could have already picked up his own personal one, a Test place. He beat Dominic Ostler's intended drive, had Dermot Reeve, always a difficult batsman to dislodge, caught at silly mid-off and dismissed Neil Smith, taken at the wicket. As usual, Reeve batted as if on a hot tin roof before eventually giving May half a charge down the pitch and offering a bat and pad catch.

Tim Zoehrer, the wicketkeeper and batsman, swapped his gloves with Ian Healy to indulge in his lesser-known activity of leg spin and after bamboozling Trevor Penney with a googly he ousted the batsman leg before next ball with an equally mysterious top- spinner.

Andy Moles made 49 from 115 balls before dangling his bat and being caught at first slip. Roger Twose was athletically caught at second slip by Mark Waugh off Julian, who switched to around the wicket against the left- hander.

Warwickshire's other batting suggested there should soon be a place for Paul Smith. As for the Australians, they added 54 runs briskly before their morning declaration. With reasonable weather, their pot of gold is already in sight. If they were playing four-day matches against the counties as they have done before, their golf would probably be as good as their cricket.

(Photograph omitted)

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