Cricket / Texaco Trophy: England work on their losing formula

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Australia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .230-5

England . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .211

Australia win by 19 runs

Australia complete a Texaco Trophy whitewash as home hopes rapidly evaporate

SO this summer's hors d'oeuvre course - the Slogasbord, as you might call it - did not end with even a single satisfying burp from England. Australia, who had already snaffled the trophy, finally burst their braces at the Texaco table, in a way that does not augur particularly well for England's prospects in the main course to follow.

As well as being beaten in their last five Test matches, England yesterday extended their losing one-day international sequence to seven. Winning, as Graham Gooch is fond of saying, becomes a habit, but so too does losing, in which case England's habit looks dangerously like hard-core dependency.

England have so thoroughly mislaid the winning formula that they currently resemble an absent-minded professor searching frantically for spectacles that are perched on top of his head. Yesterday, chasing a modest 231 to win, England were 90 for 0 from 24 overs, 159 for 3 from 34, before finally evaporating to 211 all out with 11 balls still remaining. Certain victory to hapless defeat in less time than it takes to sprout a decent growth of designer stubble.

Australia did not even bother to pick their best side. Allan Border decided to take the match off, and although there was a case for Gooch doing the same - in terms of current form, that is - England's two changes involved replacing Derek Pringle and Chris Lewis (both injured) with Richard Illingworth and Dermot Reeve. No danger here of the crowd overdosing on charisma, either.

Mark Lathwell, the exciting Somerset opener, thereby spent the entire series lackeying in the dressing-room, wondering exactly how this fitted in with Keith Fletcher, the team manager, wanting to see how the youngsters reacted to the big time. For Lathwell, the big time amounted to hanging up sweaty shirts and filling bathtubs, and today he is attempting to rediscover what a bat feels like with Somerset's 2nd XI.

England's decision to insert probably had more to do with the memory of how easily Australia knocked off 278 at Edgbaston, and while their bowlers performed much better yesterday, Australia's batsmen went so slowly before lunch that one half suspected that they were treating it as an early warm-up for the Ashes.

Andy Caddick and Dominic Cork were particularly miserly, and with Mark Taylor, captaining the tourists in Border's absence, scoring at less than a run an over until shortly before lunch, Australia had to speed up considerably even to make 230. Neither would they have managed this many had England's fielding not been its customary palsied self. David Boon was dropped three times en route to his 74, twice by a player who was in the side as much for his fielding as for his batting, Graham Thorpe.

The batsman who did even more than Boon to lift Australia to a total that was still only half defendable was Border's replacement, Damien Martyn. The former Australian Under- 19 captain is 21, and was playing in his eighth one-day international, although given Australia's accent on both youth and the one-day stuff, they will soon produce an eight-year-old playing in his 21st one-day international.

Martyn certainly has an old head on talented young shoulders, although his 51 not out would have gone down as a gallant effort in a losing cause against any side other than England's. It scarcely seemed possible that Australia could win, particularly when Gooch and Alec Stewart were steaming along just before tea.

Gooch, who has now taken to carting his own personal batting coach (the former Essex player Alan Lilley) around with him, a bit like a golfer with his guru, struggled to begin with, but it was the first spell from the Australian left-armer Brendon Julian that appeared to have got him back into form.

Julian, doubtless attacked by nerves, bowled his first three overs for 27 runs, including six fours and three wides, and he was promptly removed to the outfield to contemplate the perils of bowling half-volleys to players such as Gooch and Stewart. However, Gooch top-edged a sweep off Tim May just before tea, and shortly after it Robin Smith departed in a way that suggested that England could still find every conceivable avenue to defeat.

Smith managed to get himself stumped off a wide, a dismissal that almost fused the new computer system of scoring, and it was Julian's second spell that totally fused England. Returning at the Nursery End, his inswinger found its way past a horrible shot from Graeme Hick, and he then completed a spell of 3 for 11 in 27 balls when Neil Fairbrother and Stewart both speared offside catches.

Reeve then contrived to get himself run out by the full 22 yards, and with the asking rate up to more than seven off the last nine overs, England's last four wickets disappeared in a flurry of slogs and smears. Julian is not too young to know that this is a game of ups and downs, and after failing to bowl a hoop downhill in his first spell, he ended up with the man-of-the- match award.

(England won toss)

AUSTRALIA

* M A Taylor c Stewart b Reeve . . . . . . . . . . . . .57

(155 min, 104 balls, 3 fours)

M L Hayden c Stewart b Caddick . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

(22 min, 19 balls)

M E Waugh c Stewart b Caddick . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

(25 min, 23 balls, 2 fours)

D C Boon b Illingworth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73

(144 min, 125 balls, 8 fours)

D R Martyn not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51

(62 min, 43 balls, 5 fours)

S R Waugh c Gooch b Caddick . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

(9 min, 9 balls, 1 fours)

] I A Healy not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

(9 min, 10 balls)

Extras (lb3 w6 nb2) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Total (for 5, 217 min, 55 overs) . . . . . . . . . . . 230

Fall: 1-12 (Hayden), 2-31 (M Waugh), 3-139 (Taylor), 4-193 (Boon), 5-208 (S Waugh).

Did not bat: M G Hughes, B P Julian, C J McDermott, T B A May.

Bowling: Jarvis 11-1-51-0 (w3) (first spell: 3-0- 1-0; second spell: 4-1-13-0; third spell: 4-0-28- 0); Caddick 11-3-39-3 (7-3-11-2; 2-0-12-0; 2-0- 16-1); Cork 8-2-24-0 (6-2-12-0; 3-0-12-0); Illingworth 10-0-46-0 (7-0-32-0; 3-0-14-1); Reeve 11-1-50-1 (w3) (one spell); Hick 3-0-17- 0 (one spell).

Progress: 50: 83 min, 124 balls. 100: 128 min, 200 balls. 150: 166 min, 261 balls. 200: 200 min, 308 balls.

ENGLAND

* G A Gooch c Hughes b May . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

(96 min, 77 balls, 4 fours)

] A J Stewart c M Waugh b Julian . . . . . . . . . 74

(174 min, 119 balls, 10 fours)

R A Smith st Healy b May . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

(23 min, 22 balls)

G A Hick b Julian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

(18 min, 13 balls, 1 four)

N H Fairbrother c Boon b Julian . . . . . . . . . .18

(29 min, 25 balls, 1 four)

G P Thorpe c Healy b S Waugh . . . . . . . . . . . 22

(41 min, 24 balls, 2 fours)

D A Reeve run out (S Waugh-Julian) . . . . . . . . .2

(9 min, 8 balls)

D G Cork b Hughes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

(21 min, 16 balls)

R K Illingworth c Healy b Hughes . . . . . . . . . .9

(18 min, 10 balls, 1 four)

P W Jarvis c Hayden b McDermott . . . . . . . . . . 3

(7 min, 5 balls)

A R Caddick not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

(3 min, 1 ball)

Extras (lb6 w8 nb1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

Total (224 min, 53.1 overs). . . . . . . . . . . .211

Fall: 1-96 (Gooch), 2-115 (Smith), 3-129 (Hick), 4-159 (Fairbrother), 5-160 (Stewart), 6-169 (Reeve), 7-195 (Cork), 8-201 (Thorpe), 9-208 (Jarvis), 10-211 (Illingworth).

Bowling: McDermott 10-1-35-1 (nb1) (6-1-17- 0; 3-0-11-0; 1-0-7-1); Hughes 10.1-0-41-2 (3-0- 15-0; 5-0-14-0; 2-0-12-1; 0.1-0-0-1) (w1); Julian 11-1-50-3 (3-0-27-0; 8-1-23-3) (w4); May 11-1- 36-2 (w2) (one spell); S Waugh 11-0-43-1 (2- 0-8-0; 9-0-35-1) (w1).

Progress: 50: 46 min, 65 balls. 100: 100 min, 145 balls. 150: 160 min, 240 balls. 200: 210 min, 307 balls.

Umpires: H D Bird and R Palmer.

Man of the match: B P Julian.

Adjudicator: Sir Colin Cowdrey.

AUSTRALIA WIN BY 19 RUNS

AUSTRALIA WIN SERIES 3-0

(Photograph omitted)

Sussex in total command,

Scoreboard, page 27

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