Cricket: Schofield spirit sparks recovery

England A 132 & 186 Central Districts 111 & 60-4
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The Independent Online
CHRIS SCHOFIELD saved England A's blushes with a masterful innings of 74 which should give his team a chance of victory against Central Districts. The gutsy Lancastrian shared a ninth-wicket stand of 70 runs with Michael Davies here to establish a lead of 207.

"It's one of those wickets when your name is on one of the balls, so I had to be positive," Schofield said. "I played and missed a lot of times, just like some of the other lads, but the top order tended to get nicks, unfortunately. It's one of those wickets where, if your luck's running, it's running."

England A began the second day with a lead of 56 but within 10 balls they had lost three wickets. Ian Ward (9) played indecisively to the third ball of the day and edged to second slip. Vikram Solanki (0) then top edged to fine leg and David Sales (0) drove loosely to be caught at slip. The situation worsened when Marcus Trescothick (25) flashed at a wide one and the captain Mark Alleyne (5) was bowled offering no stroke, leaving England on 51 for 5.

Rob Turner (24) and Chris Schofield added 32 runs for the sixth wicket before Turner got a lifting ball outside off stump which went to slip. Paul Franks offered valuable support to Schofield before he gave a diving catch to the wicketkeeper after a stand of 33. Darren Thomas lasted two balls, before Davies (20no) joined Schofield in a vital partnership.

Schofield went to his third first-class 50 of the tour from 91 balls, and with Davies put on 70 in 26 overs when the partnership was broken by Emmett Craik, who saw Schofield touch a ball down the leg side to the wicketkeeper. He had batted for close to three hours, faced 132 balls and hit 10 boundaries.

Alamgir Sheriyar fended off a short ball to slip without adding to the score, leaving Davies 20 not out.

England's bowlers new they needed to make early inroads. Franks got them started by bringing one back to bowl David Kelly (5), and when bad light stopped play Central District had been reduced to 60 for 4, still needing 148 to win.

Second day of three; Central Districts won toss

ENGLAND A - First Innings 132 (L J Hamilton 4-38).

CENTRAL DISTRICTS - First Innings 111 (A Sheriyar 5-35).

ENGLAND A - Second Innings

I J Ward c Furlong b Hamilton 9

M E Trescothick c Spearman b Mason 25

V S Solanki c Mason b Hamilton 0

D J G Sales c Spearman b Mason 0

R J Turner c Furlong b Mason 24

*M W Alleyne b Hamilton 5

C P Schofield c Sigley b Craik 74

P J Franks c Sigley b Craik 9

S D Thomas b Craik 0

M K Davies not out 20

A Sheriyar c Douglas b Craik 0

Extras (lb14, nb6) 20

Total (63 overs) 186

Fall: 1-37, 2-37, 3-37, 4-40, 5-51, 6-83, 7-116, 8-116, 9-186.

Bowling: Hamilton 17-3-41-3; Mason 14-5-49-3; Craik 11-4-25-4; Oram 8- 4-18-0; Furlong 13-2-39-0.

CENTRAL DISTRICTS - Second Innings

D P Kelly b Franks 5

C S Milnes lbw b Sheriyar 2

*C M Spearman b Franks 23

G P Sulzberger c Turner b Franks 7

M W Douglas not out 11

J D R Oram not out 4

Extras (lb6, nb2) 8

Total (for 4, 24 overs) 60

Fall: 1-5, 2-20, 3-33, 4-48.

To Bat: C J M Furlong, M A Sigley, M J Mason, E Craik, L J Hamilton.

Bowling: Franks 12-6-15-3; Sheriyar 10-1-38-1; Thomas 2-1-1-0.

Umpires: R D Anderson and M George.

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