Cricket: Rabbit's foot proves lucky

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FOR Eastern Province it was dial Lyle for emergency in Johannesburg yesterday when Rowan Lyle carved his own niche in cricket lore by attempting to bat on crutches.

The fall of the ninth Eastern Province wicket in the Castle Cup match against Transvaal provided the cue for the fast bowler to emerge from the pavilion, plaster cast covering the toe he had broken on Monday while bowling, a crutch under each arm. Besides a runner, he was also accompanied by a colleague entrusted with carrying his bat. When the entourage arrived at the crease, however, the umpires ordered the crutches be taken back to the pavilion, compelling Lyle to hop in place to protect the cast.

Despite this handicap, he contrived to share a stand of 23 with his captain, Eldine Baptiste, facing three deliveries without scoring and extending his side's second-innings total to 217, which left Transvaal a considerably trickier target of 252 to win a low-scoring match.