Cricket: May in doubt for Test

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TIM MAY, Australia's fourth Test hero, is in doubt for the decisive fifth and final Test against the West Indies starting in Perth tomorrow.

May has a damaged right finger which was hit several times during a brave batting display on Tuesday when the West Indies snatched victory in the fourth Test by one run in an epic match. In his first Test for four years, May, batting No 10, made 42 not out after earlier taking five wickets for nine runs.

May, unable to train yesterday, faces a fitness test today. Errol Alcott, the team physiotherapist, said his chances were 50-50 at best. 'The top of Tim's forefinger is sore, which is the one he uses to grip the ball to bowl,' Alcott said.

The Australian selectors are believed to favour playing two spinners, which would mean that Steve Waugh would retain his place ahead of Damien Martyn because of his bowling ability. But if May is ruled out and replaced by the Western Australian pace bowler, Jo Angel, Martyn could then play ahead of Waugh.

The West Indies may also need a replacement for their pace man, Kenneth Benjamin, who could not train yesterday because of a damaged left knee. Benjamin has broken down regularly on tour and his latest problem should result in a recall for Patrick Patterson.