CRICKET: Moxon salutes his unbeaten England A tourists

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The Independent Online
MARTYN MOXON, the England A coach, hailed his squad's magnificent team ethic after completing another unbeaten tour half-way round the world.

The nine-week tour ended on an anti-climax here, when constant rain forced the third one-day international against New Zealand A to be abandoned.

It was a dismal end to a successful trip but it meant England's unbeaten record on the tour remained intact as they added the one-day series to the A Test series they won in spectacular fashion a week ago.

Moxon's men were unbeaten in 15 matches in Bangladesh and New Zealand, a run which stretched their undefeated first-class run to 36 matches. Their last loss came in Durban against Natal in January 1994.

Moxon and the tour manager, Mike Gatting, stressed that teamwork was the key to England A's success, but there were individuals who stood out.

Vikram Solanki looked the pick of the batsmen, not so much for the number of his runs but for the way he scored them. David Sales also has abundant talent and only needs a little more consistency before he can be regarded as a real option for the Test team.

The Lancastrian leg-spinner Chris Schofield may not quite be the finished article but performed well within the boundaries of discipline, bowling well in all sorts of conditions as well as scoring runs and performing superbly in the field.

Paul Franks impressed among the ranks of the quicker bowlers. He could not be faulted for effort and when he gets it right he can discomfort the best of batsmen.

Mark Alleyne was an astute captain who never failed to contribute personally and obviously had the respect of his team in a quiet, undemonstrative way. He formed a first-class triumvirate along with Gatting and Moxon, who also grew in stature as the tour went on.

In a sense, England A's excellent team ethic could prove to be their downfall in the long term as many individuals may have found it hard to express themselves fully. But Moxon is convinced that many of them can go on to make a name for themselves at Test level.

"I would like to think several can become Test players," Moxon said. "They have all contributed at some point during the tour and I'm sure they will have gained from playing in Bangladesh and from the conditions in New Zealand.

"We've had some days when we haven't played particularly well but we've always fought back from them. I think these players now have an idea of what it takes to step up a level."

Alleyne was sad that the team is now breaking up, perhaps never to play together again. "That's the nature of the A team, unfortunately, but hopefully with the success of this trip quite a few of them could play again together in the first team," he predicted.

One day; England A won toss

ENGLAND A

M A Gough c Nevin b Wisneski 4

I J Ward c Nevin b Styris 31

V S Solanki c Oram b Wisneski 21

A Habib run out 19

*M W Alleyne c & b Penn 54

M E Trescothick c Sinclair b Tait 12

R C Irani c Mason b Penn 20

C P Schofield not out 2

Extras (lb10, w14) 24

Total (for 7, 45.4 overs) 187

Fall: 1-9, 2-34, 3-82, 4-96, 5-115, 6-180, 7-187.

Did not bat: R J Turner, P J Franks, R J Kirtley.

Bowling: Wisneski 10-1-31-2; Penn 7.4-0-36-2; Mason 8-0-33-0; Tait 10- 0-30-1; Styris 10-0-47-1.

MATCH ABANDONED - NO RESULT

NEW ZEALAND A: A C Barnes, C J Nevin, J D P Oram, M S Sinclair, L Vincent, *M H Richardson, S B Styris, W A Wisneski, A R Tait, M J Mason, A J Penn.

Umpires: B F Bowden and A L Hill.

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