Cricket: Tourists soak up the sun

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New Zealand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .428-5 dec and 108-3 dec

Essex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .334

Match drawn

MORE than 2,000 people came to the County Ground at Chelmsford, and, basking in the sunshine, watched what may easily turn out to have been the most boring day's cricket of the entire summer.

With two hours remaining, the players went through the motions, the ice-cream sellers did good business and the New Zealanders' baggage truck started its journey to Trent Bridge while their batsmen made 108 for 3 declared before setting off up the motorways in pursuit.

County matches against the touring side have over the years become a necessary misfit in the scheme of an English season.

New Zealand batted on until lunch on the second day of a three-day match and the rest was inevitable. It might be more advantageous to all concerned if the tourists played more four-day, rather three- day, matches against the counties. The Essex second innings centred around their newcomer from Lancashire, Ronnie Irani, who drove powerfully off both feet. Later, Mark Ilott left the field after he had bowled one over with a groin injury but, apparently, it is not a worry.