Cricket: Tourists delay decision on Vaughan

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The Independent Online
SAFETY IS not the only worry for England at the moment, and after the third day's play against a combined Border-Eastern Province side was washed out by rain, all eyes were on Michael Vaughan's sore digit and Alan Mullally's cracked rib, writes Derek Pringle.

According to the team's physio, Dean Conway, yesterday's scan on Vaughan's right index finger showed no hairline cracks. However, there is bruising to both bone and soft tissue around the joint, and while the latter is expected to clear up in days, the other could be painful for a number of weeks. Reading through the "doc speak", it will, providing the injury does not prevent Vaughan catching or fielding the ball, be left to the player to decide if he is fit.

Should he not make it, England would have to decide whether to send for a replacement, with Nick Knight, Graeme Hick and Mark Ramprakash in the frame.

Mullally, incapacitated since the first Test, is hoping to have his first bowl tomorrow, and with the match starting in Durban on Sunday, the left- arm bowler knows he has only a few days to prove his fitness and impress his captain, Nasser Hussain. Meanwhile, Chris Silverwood, the man in possession, awaits to see what Christmas will bring.