Cricket: Tufnell strikes right note

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England . . . . . . . . . . . . . 253-6 and 150-2

Rest of India XI . . . . . . . . .345-9 dec

Match drawn

IT IS par for the course for a player to shed a few pounds on a tour to India, but it was no great surprise that the ones Philip Tufnell lost over the weekend were plucked from his wallet rather than his midriff. Tufnell's talent leaves less room for argument than his temperament, which is why after this game he is both four wickets better off and pounds 500 worse off.

Fuses normally blow after dark in India, but Tufnell's went midway through Saturday's play, ironically less than 24 hours after a management statement insisting that Tufnell had taken his omission from the Calcutta Test with calm equanimity.

Tufnell, as it happens, has taken precious little about India with calm equanimity, and being left out at Eden Gardens did not visibly improve his humour. Tufnell cannot help his unfortunate deportment but England had enough evidence from Australia two winters ago to know that there is occasionally the option of boiling a kettle on top of Tufnell's head during an Indian power-cut.

What happened to Tufnell on Saturday afternoon would have tested more patient individuals, but for a player of such fragile mood to see a tour he is not enjoying anyway threatening to collapse around his ears, a blown gasket was more or less inevitable.

Tufnell's opening over contained the first two of 11 no-balls, a misfield, and a missed stumping against Sachin Tendulkar, which resulted in Tufnell snatching his cap from the umpire, hoofing it all the way to cover, and making comments of a none too complimentary nature. The management said that Tufnell had not sworn at either umpire, but given that one of Tufnell's four apologies yesterday was proffered to Richard Blakey (the others were to Graham Gooch and both officials) it suggests that England's wicketkeeper might not have been spared an earful.

As stumpings go it was a bad miss, but if Tufnell did feel the urge to pass comment, he perhaps should have saved it for the England selection committee. The emphasis nowadays is more on whether a wicketkeeper might score runs, as Blakey did here, rather than give them away by missing batsmen of Tendulkar's pedigree.

It is a problem that will presumably remain until England find a natural replacement for Ian Botham, but the current system does no one any favours, Alec Stewart least of all. Having originally been grateful to make the side because of his keeping, Stewart is now good enough to be picked as a specialist batsman. However, stuck with a pair of gloves he would probably like to dump at the nearest excess-baggage counter, his prospects of scoring runs at Nos 2 or 3 have been seriously diminished.

As for Tufnell, who was told by one of the umpires to 'behave himself and stop making a scene', he suffered, along with his fine, the extra punishment of being made to attend (like a schoolboy kept in after class) the end-of- match press conference.

As for the match, it went the same way as most three-day fixtures in India, and died of tedium. The crowd seemed to enjoy it yesterday, but then again, this is the one part of the world where it is possible to paint a wall and sell tickets to watch it dry. It was not so much the cricket that got them going as the peripheral distractions, such as jumping up and down for the TV cameras, and whooping when a stray dog left a deposit that rendered the area at deep square leg a no-go area for fielding.

For Tufnell, though, it was as worthwhile a day as Saturday's had been, in his own word, 'frustrating'. Having just been struck for

4-4-2 off consecutive balls to make his analysis 0 for 89, Tufnell took a wicket with his next delivery to precipitate a spell of 4 for 16.

Three of those were the result of catches in the outfield, including the unexpected bonus of Devon Malcolm holding one of them low down in full stride, but Tufnell was bowling well enough by the end to be well in the frame for selection in Madras on Thursday. So, too, is Ian Salisbury, who took three wickets, but it was another trying match for John Emburey, who failed to add to a list of only one.

Robin Smith and Neil Fairbrother batted well enough but, despite Michael Atherton's second- innings failure, there is room for only one of them in Madras, and it is likely to be Smith. Graeme Hick is on the mend after spending the last two days in his room because of a virus, and although Phillip DeFreitas was more public about his own state of health yesterday - throwing up by the stumps - it was no more than mild dehydration.

(Final day: England won toss)

ENGLAND - First Innings 253 for 6 (R A Smith 82, R J Blakey 63no, J E Emburey 53).

REST OF INDIA XI - First Innings

(Overnight: 295 for 4)

J V Paranjpe c Fairbrother b Tufnell. . . . . . . . . . . .64

A R Kapoor c Emburey b Tufnell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54

V Yadav c Malcolm b Tufnell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

U Chatterjee c Salisbury b Salisbury. . . . . . . . . . . . 6

S A Ankola c Blakey b Tufnell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 . .1

K N A Padmanabhan not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

V Prasad not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

Extras (lb6 w1 nb15). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22

Total (for 9 dec). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .345

Fall (cont): 5-328 6-332 7-336 8-339 9-339.

Bowling: Malcolm 19-4-63-2; DeFreitas 16-1-52-0; Reeve 7-1-22-0; Tufnell 26-4-95-4; Emburey 20-4-53- 0; Salisbury 19-3-54-3.

ENGLAND - Second Innings

R A Smith retired hurt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38

M A Atherton c Yadav b Prasad. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

N H Fairbrother not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

* A J Stewart lbw b Padmanabhan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

D A Reeve not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Extras (b8 lb4 w1). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

Total (for 2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .150

Did not bat: R J Blakey, P A J DeFreitas, J E Emburey, I D K Salisbury, P C R Tufnell, D E Malcolm.

Fall: 1-4 2-85

Bowling: Ankola 8-3-13-0; Prasad 8-1-24-1; Kapoor 11- 3-35-0; Chatterjee 9-3-31-0; Padmanabhan 14-2-35-1; Tendulkar 1-1-0-0.

MATCH DRAWN

England A lose, page 27

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