Cricket: McCague paces himself

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The Independent Online
Warwickshire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .257-7


THE EXPRESS deliveries arrived late but Martin McCague, the bowler England left behind during their winter travels, had a rattling good answer to some lukewarm cricket on a chilly day here from Warwickshire, who appeared as intimidated by his pace as they had been by Kent's bustling over rate.

Come six o'clock McCague was already sending down the 110th over and small wonder he was fresh, Mark Benson having previously called for 45 overs of spin from Richard Davis and Carl Hooper. Even then Warwickshire struggled to get their run rate above two an over and now they found themselves shunted into a siding.

McCague, charging in and relying on speed for suprise on a not too helpful wicket, sent back Trevor Penney and Michael Burns with successive balls. While Neil Smith survived a hat-trick, he too was soon unseated. Steve Marsh also deserved a mention in this spell of action, the wicketkeeper latching on to a glance from Penney and then diving to snap up Smith. With Graham Cowdrey stepping in earlier at deep mid-off to come up clutching a stinging strike from Dominic Ostler, Warwickshire had lost 4 for 48.

Indeed, it was a bad day all round for them. No sooner had they arrived at the St Lawrence Ground than they were hamstrung by the withdrawal of Allan Donald. The South African fast bowler was feeling the strain he suffered against Derbyshire and Warwickshire had to pull Ashley Giles out of the second XI match at nearby Maidstone.

That will leave them short in the strike department, just as they were after Dermot Reeve won the toss. It took Warwickshire 41 overs to put together three figures and another 52 to pass 200.

Kent soon turned to Hooper and Davis, the pair combining when Hooper found the edge of Roger Twose's bat for Davis to take a slip catch via a Marsh glove. Andy Moles, though, was not to be dislodged for the time being and by lunch he had reached a 112-ball half-century, going on to top score with 65 before falling to Davis, while Ostler (47) and Penney (57) featured in a stand of 85 for the fourth wicket. But Warwickshire in general were suffering for their crawl and the only bad news for Kent is that Cowdrey may be missing today with an attack of shingles.