CRICKET; Maddy century hastens chance of Test call-up

England 309-8 Border/Eastern Province 156 England win by 153 runs
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The Independent Online
THERE WERE no roast sheep for Darren Maddy to feast upon, but the spoils of victory after his 133 set up an easy win for England in their one-day match here could well be a berth in the next Test. Set 310 to win in 50 overs, the combined Border/Eastern Province side were skittled for 156, a thrashing in any language.

Coming in at No 3 after Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton had got England off to a storming start, the 25-year old Maddy showed a liking for the hosts' attack. Although reprieved on 19 when the wicket-keeper, Ian Mitchell, dropped a skied pull, and again on 54, he hit the ball with a power and precision that belied his recent inactivity.

"They made me work hard early on," Maddy said. "I had a bit of luck and the bumpy outfield helped. You've got to take your chances when they come along. I feel I'm coming into good form and I want to give the management something to think about over the coming days.

"Opening is my natural position and I'd love to bat there, but I'd be happy to play in the middle-order if the chance came along. I've just got to keep scoring runs and put pressure on the guys in the Test team."

England are concerned with the sketchy form of Mark Butcher and Chris Adams, and with good cause. Against moderate opponents, Adams was clean bowled first ball. Butcher will get a chance to have his say in the four- day game at the weekend, but Maddy's century, scored in front of his father Bill and uncle Jack, will have substantially improved his chances of a Test recall.

Modern Test tours tend to stick to the beaten path and this sideshow in Alice came as a welcome change. Set in the ANC heartland of Ciskei, the match was watched by an excitable and highly parochial crowd of around 3,000, most of them shading themselves under hand-held umbrellas. They cheered and roared everything the local lad Makhaya Ntini did, which, given his figures of 0 for 71 with the ball, was not very much.

England teams of yore may have played in stranger surrounds, but the sight of two molehills at square leg and three ash-covered youths - a traditional get-up for those about to undergo their initiation rites - peering over the fence lent a surreal air to the proceedings.

With the pitch appearing flat for seam but treacherous for spin, it was the tweakers who ruled the roost. Robin Peterson, a 20-year old engineering student at the University of Port Elizabeth, took 4 for 43 with his left- arm spin, while Phil Tufnell and Graeme Swann snapped up three wickets apiece.

The rough outfield, while uneven enough for the outfielders to contemplate wearing boxes, did not warrant the wearing of a helmet, as Chris Read did while keeping wicket. If any further evidence were needed that all wicketkeepers are potty, the sight of Read standing back to the pace bowlers in a helmet and grille was it.

The headgear did not help his keeping, and he dropped Mark Benfield off Adams when he was on 19. Benfield went on to make a polished 58 before chipping a leading edge back to Tufnell.

Even Hussain took a wicket after Shafiek Abrahams slogged him high to Atherton on the deep midwicket boundary. It was a combination that had not been in operation since the Under-15 side.

Atherton hit the ball as sweetly as he has ever done. A brace of cover drives were suggestive of Wally Hammond in his pomp and, in truth, he tried to get out long before he finally chipped Peterson to Ntini at cover for 51.

This may be the place where the "Slaughter of the Sheep" takes place, but in this form Atherton is not yet ready to be seen as mutton dressed as lamb.

One day; England won toss

ENGLAND

*N Hussain b Greed 25

M A Atherton c Ntini b Peterson 51

D L Maddy c Ntini b Maketa 133

C J Adams b Peterson 0

A Flintoff st Mitchell b Peterson 5

G M Hamilton c de Wett b Peterson 19

G P Swann c Grace b Maketa 28

C M W Read run out 1

A J Tudor not out 16

C E W Silverwood not out 2

Extras (b2 lb7 w16 nb4) 29

Total (for 8, 50 overs) 309

Fall: 1-54 2-119 3-119 4-131 5-194 6-239 7-260 8-302.

Did not bat: P C R Tufnell.

Bowling: Ntini 10-1-71-0; Greed 9-0-71-1; Abrahams 10-0-36-0; Maketa 9-0-66-2; Peterson 10-0-43-4; De Wett 2-0-13-0.

COMBINED E PROVINCE/BORDER XI

M R Benfield c and b Tufnell 58

G V Grace b Silverwood 14

B de Wett lbw b Silverwood 0

*S C Pope c Hussain b Swann 23

L L Gamiet c Tudor b Swann 20

I Mitchell c Maddy b Swann 4

M Greed lbw b Tufnell 2

S Abrahams c Atherton b Hussain 11

R J Peterson c Adams b Tufnell 7

M Maketa run out 0

M Ntini not out 0

Extras (b7 lb5 w4 nb1) 17

Total (36.4 overs) 156

Fall: 1-28 2-28 3-88 4-115 5-123 6-126 7-147 8-150 9-150.

Bowling: Silverwood 6-0-24-2; Hamilton 5-1-17-0; Adams 2-0-12-0; Tudor 3-0-17-0; Swann 10-0-38-3; Tufnell 9.4-0-34-3; Hussain 1-0-2-1.

Umpires: L King and N Majiza.

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