Cricket: Tourists' unbeaten record under threat

New Zealand A 261 and 182-4 England A 123
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ENGLAND A'S 33-match unbeaten record is in peril after their New Zealand counterparts stretched their advantage to 320 by lunch here today, the fourth day of the First Test.

Mark Alleyne, the tourists' captain, took an early wicket after the Kiwis resumed on 102 for 2, having Matthew Bell caught by Paulk Franks for 58. Alamgir Sheriyar then had Lou Vincent caught behind for 64 but the bowlers needed to make greater in-roads than that to pull the game round.

Even the senior England side would have bowed their heads in shame had they suffered the day the A team did on Tuesay when they were bowled out for 123 in reply to New Zealand A's first-innings 261.

The bad news was not confined to the field as it was confirmed that Ronnie Irani has chicken pox and must remain in isolation until 8 December. Michael Gough has gone down with similar symptoms.

On the field, the three outstanding New Zealand wickets fell for 26, but then in good conditions England batted disastrously. Ian Ward was bowled, Vikram Solanki fell caught behind Marcus Trescothick miscued a pull - all off Chris Drum. When David Sales was bowled by Andrew Penn the scoreboard read 22 for 4. After lunch it soon became worse as Alleyne cut a ball from Penn to second slip. Aftab Habib and Rob Turner appeared to have stopped the rot with a stand of 32, before both were caught with the score on 73.

New Zealand's batsmen then made careful progress. A superb catch by Trescothick in the gully off Sheriyar accounted for Gary Stead, and then an even better effort by Solanki at second slip dismissed Matthew Sinclair off James Kirtley.

England A won toss; lunch, fourth day of five

NEW ZEALAND A - First innings

(Overnight 235-7; M H Richardson 74, M S Sinclair 62)

G J Hopkins b Franks 20

A J Penn lbw b Kirtley 27

P J Wiseman c Turner b Kirtley 9

G J Drum not out 4

Extras (b5 lb7 nb7) 19

Total (98.5 overs) 261

Fall: 8-235 9-256

Bowling: Franks 21-7-44-2; Sheriyar 24-3-74-0; Kirtley 18.5-4-54-5 Alleyne 11-5-22-1; Schofield 24-9-55-2

ENGLAND A - First Innings

I J Ward b Drum 8

M E Trescothick c Penn b Drum 8

V S Solanki c Hopkins b Drum 2

D J Sales b Penn 8

*M W Alleyne c Styris b Penn 8

A Habib c Stead b Penn 19

R J Turner c Sinclair b Wisneski 12

C P Schofield c Styris b Wisneski 23

P J Franks c Vincent b Wiseman 17

R J Kirtley c Vincent b Penn 3

A Sheriyar not out 5

Extras (lb7 nb3) 10

Total (51.5 overs) 123

Fall: 1-8 2-12 3-26 4-33 5-41 6-73 7-73 8-98 9-109.

Bowling: Drum 11-4-34-3; Wisneski 16.5-5-32-2; Penn 14-52-1-4; Styris 6-1-17-0; Wiseman 4-0-12-1.

NEW ZEALAND A - Second Innings

(Overnight: 102 for 2)

*G R Stead c Trescothick b Sheriyar 12

M D Bell c Franks b Alleyne 58

M S Sinclair c Solanki b Kirtley 3

L Vincent c Turner b Sheriyar 64

M H Richardson not out 21

S B Styris not out 14

Extras (b3 lb5 nb2) 10

Total (for 4, 72 overs) 182

Fall: 1-21 2-32.

To Bat: G J Hopkins, W A Wisneski, P J Wiseman, A J Penn, G J Drum.

Bowling: Franks 15-4-32-0; Sheriyar 17-3-43-2; Kirtley 16-8-32-1; Schofield 12-1-42-0; Alleyne 12-3-25-1.

Umpires: B F Bowden and R D Anderson.