Cricket: Tudor and Tufnell fluff their lines

IT WOULD be pushing it to suggest that this England side have captured the hearts and minds of a nation still in the first flush of restored youth. The crowd which initially turned up for the second day of the match against KwaZulu-Natal Dolphins at Kingsmead yesterday was of a size to cause considerable concern to turnstile manufacturers and would have been on the low side on a dank Tuesday in Derby, never mind Durban.

Doubtless, this was partly because the rain which had ended play early the previous day turned into the monsoon variety so that it was possible to believe that cricket would never again be played in South Africa. Although the new day dawned gloriously, potential spectators may already have made other arrangements, connected with buying an ark. Unfortunately, the other possibility was that they were not remotely entranced by seeing these maligned tourists against a vastly inexperienced provincial side, some of whose members had to take leave of absence from school and college.

In the event, the proceedings were rarely less than pleasantly diverting and, unsurprisingly, did not go entirely England's way. The strength of the opposition in these provincial outings is such as to make them meaningless in providing form guides for the Test matches but it helps not to lose them.

If there was a serious point at issue in this match it centred around Alex Tudor and Phil Tufnell. Poor Gavin Hamilton, runless and wicketless on his Test debut in Johannesburg, had been left out of the side here so it is clear that he will not take any part in the Second Test at Port Elizabeth on Thursday.

Presumably, Chris Silverwood, who aggravated a sore ankle in his only match at Lenasia and thus ruled himself out of consideration for his first first-class match of the tour, cannot be selected either. This is a pity because he was considerably rapid in the Wanderers' nets - "like lightning," said bowling coach, Bob Cottam - although estimates from inside the camp that he was two yards quicker than Allan Donald may be over-egging the pudding. They may also provoke something horribly quick from Donald.

To complicate the selection further there is also a slight doubt over Alan Mullally, who has a strained side. He will not bowl again until tomorrow but he is confident of his fitness. The one place probably available lies between Tudor and Tufnell. The nod will depend on the state of the pitch - neither bowler specially turned the selectors' heads. Tudor looked a little more dangerous yesterday than he did on the first day, which did not make him a handful.

It had been firmly declared that he would be given a lot of work and that was reflected in 25 overs. They were mostly too short and while he achieved some welcome bounce, 3 for 91 was not a perfect return. He is still not fluent in the delivery stride. Tufnell suffered somewhat more. If he is to play in Port Elizabeth it would probably be as a run-saving stock slow bowler rather than a wicket- taking spinner. Yesterday he kept being clubbed for sixes. There were 86 runs off his 26 overs, 33 off his final three.

This all made for grand entertainment. John Kent, a 20-year-old batsman in his second season, went on to make his second century. Three balls after he had reached it, having struck seven fours and two sixes (and being put down by Michael Atherton on 77), he departed. The Dolphins did not then go quietly. The last-wicket pair, Kevin Pietersen and Gary Gilder, batted with wonderfully annoying abandon. They drilled sixes over long- on and inside out over cover,Pietersen hitting four of them in an innings of 61 that spanned only 57 balls.

England made a composed start. This was opening bowling without Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock involved and it is not to disparage KZN's attack to say that it showed. Both Atherton and Mark Butcher settled quickly. Butcher was unsure when spin entered the attack, twice in an over playing in a grossly unwieldy fashion against Pietersen's off breaks. But it was Atherton who fell, taking a pace down the pitch, misjudging the flight and finding himself stumped.

Nasser Hussain strode in and, perhaps feeling miffed about what had been dished out to his bowlers, drove his fourth ball for six over long-on. It was the second consecutive innings that he had got off the mark with the maximum. When Butcher was then acrobatically caught at cover by Ahmed Amla, the 19-year-old brother of KZN's 16-year-old schoolboy batsman, Hashim, the weary observers might have predicted a mini-collapse by England. Hussain and Michael Vaughan ensured that this did not ensue.

Hussain survived three insistent appeals on the way to his first first- class half-century of the tour and will not have been at all bothered that the majority of the fielders pointedly did not applaud his fifty. England finished 147 runs behind with eight wickets left. A country remained unstirred.

Arts and Entertainment
arts + entsWith one of the best comic roles around, it's no wonder she rarely bothers with films
News
people
News
i100
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
News
i100
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
News
i100
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Commercial Property Solicitor - Bristol

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: A VERY HIGH QUALITY FIRM A high qual...

(Senior) IT Support Engineer - 1st-3rd Line Support

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful IT service provider that has bee...

Wind Farm Civil Design Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principal Marine Mechanical Engineer

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup