Cricket: Potter's pot shot: Somerset stay rooted to the bottom of the table on a sub-standard pitch as Brittin's second century and England's women seamers put a stranglehold on India: Rob Steen reports from Finchampstead

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The Independent Online
England 179; India 176. England win by three runs

THOSE blue streaks no longer adorn that mane of bottle-blonde hair, yet, just as her father, Dennis, continues to be the scourge of the country's more prudish TV viewers, Sarah Potter remains the enfant terrible of English women's cricket. Last week she attacked the game's 'catty and matronly ethos' and the 'blue-rinse brigade' who run it. Small wonder her visit here yesterday resembled a trip to Coventry.

According to Rachael Heyhoe Flint, who also had a knack of offending the blue-rinse brigade, Potter ought to have been aiding the English cause here. 'Sarah,' Heyhoe Flint said, 'is the type of character the game needs.' Instead, Potter squirmed from the sideline as her colleagues came within an ace of throwing away their World Cup challenge. Today they must do unto the Australians what the men have been failing to do all summer. Guildford or Headingley, the song remains the same.

In the end, despite a painstaking 57 from Sandhya Agarwal, the stranglehold exerted by the England seamers proved sufficient. India's demise with a ball to spare disappointed the TV crew, due to beam the highlights back to Bombay and Dehli. For England, however, this was a chapter of lowlights.

Aside from the ever-dependable Jan Brittin, who collected her second century in four innings, no home batsman passed 22 as the Indian captain, Diana Edulji, drew on 18 years of international experience to take 4 for 12 with her left-arm spin.

The running between wickets was similarly feeble, another three run- outs taking the tournament's count into double figures. When Susie Kitson and Jo Chamberlain collided halfway, leaving the former flat on her back, John Warr's comment about Denis Compton sprang irresistibly to mind; 'He was the only player to call his partner for a run and wish him good luck at the same time.'

'Do they swap shirts afterwards?' one male barfly wondered as the contest neared its climax. Sarah Potter should be the least of the Women's Cricket Association's concerns.

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