Cricket: Shah shines through the early gloom

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England A 155 and 217 New South Wales 2nd XI 330 and 43-1 New South Wales win by 9 wickets

England A frustrated the New South Wales 2nd XI's hopes of wrapping up a rapid victory, but still slipped to an expected defeat, by nine-wickets, on the opening match of their Australian tour in Tamworth yesterday.

Resuming on 132 for 5 on the final day, still 43 runs away from making NSW bat again, they delayed the Australians' victory celebrations until mid-afternoon after another battling and composed display from the 18- year-old Owais Shah.

The Middlesex schoolboy, who top-scored in the first innings with 76, batted for nearly three and a half hours to score a determined 79 as England were bowled out for 217, but NSW took only 17.1 overs to reach their victory target of 43 for the loss of one wicket.

Shah was given admirable support from nightwatchman Peter Such, who stuck around for an hour for six, and Ashley Giles, whose determined 11 took 69 minutes and enabled the youngster to reach his second half-century of the match.

But leg-spinner Stuart MacGill, who finished with 5 for 84 to claim nine wickets in the match, finally ended Shah's resistance by having him caught in the deep by Stuart Clark.

Dean Headley interrupted NSW's victory stroll by trapping Anthony McQuire leg-before, but Jason Armberger and captain Martin Haywood safely steered the Australians to victory.

England A now travel to Adelaide for a one-day match and four-day game against South Australia and are likely to replace hand-injury victim Jason Gallian with Michael Vaughan, who has recovered from the back strain which sidelined him from the tour opener.

Final day of four; England A won toss

ENGLAND A - First Innings 155 (O A Shah 76; S C G MacGill 4-43)

NEW SOUTH WALES 2nd XI - First Innings 330 (C A Glassock 84, S M Thompson 90; A F Giles 5-110).

ENGLAND A - Second Innings

M A Butcher c Haywood b MacGill 52

A McGrath lbw b Thompson 29

J E R Gallian c McQuire b Alley 3

O A Shah c Clark b MacGill 79

*A J Hollioake run out 3

C White b Freedman 6

P M Such b MacGill 5

W K Hegg lbw b Freedman 0

A F Giles c Glassock b MacGill 11

G Chapple not out 10

D W Headley st Glassock b MacGill 9

Extras (b6 lb2 nb2) 10

Total (100.1 overs) 217

Fall: 1-62 2-85 3-102 4-109 5-122 6-145 7-148 8-193 9-198.

Bowling: Alley 8-4-14-1; MacGill 39.1-12-84-5; Clark 8-2-28-0; Thompson 17-4-47-1; Freedman 28-16-36-2.

NEW SOUTH WALES 2nd XI - Second Innings

A D McQuire lbw b Headley 10

J L Armberger not out 16

*M T Haywood not out 15

Extras (lb2) 2

Total (for 1, 17.1 overs) 43

Fall: 1-10.

Did not bat: P J S Alley, D A Freedman, S Clark, S M Thompson, S C G MacGill, P Maraziotis, G C Rummans, C A Glassock.

Bowling: Headley 5-0-17-1; Chapple 4-1-6-0; Giles 4.1-0-12-0; Hollioake 4-1-6-0.

Umpires: S Tausel and I Emerson.