Cricket: Tufnell takes his turn

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The Independent Online
Sussex. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .161 and 143

Middlesex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .339

Middlesex win by an innings and 35 runs

IT TOOK Phil Tufnell and John Emburey, those two redoubtable spinners, just 45 minutes on the fourth morning to take the last five Sussex second-innings wickets. They were bowled out for 143, which gave Middlesex victory by an innings and 35 runs and 23 points to Sussex's two.

Tufnell, of course, had heard he had been picked in the XII for Thursday's first Test before the start and this may have given him the confidence to give the ball more air than he often does - and with excellent results.

If Middlesex's surge towards victory was to have been held up, Bill Athey, who was 55 not out overnight, was going to be the man to do it. But, before he had added to his score, Tufnell threw one up most invitingly. Athey took the bait and came down the pitch to drive. He was beaten in the flight and, although he spun round and grounded his bat quickly, Keith Brown whipped off the bails and won what must have been an extremely close decision.

Franklyn Stephenson relieved his feelings by pull-driving Emburey for six before having a horrid heave at one from Tufnell which turned and hit his off stump. Emburey, the old soldier, wheeled away with his usual economy to take 4 for 46 in 37 overs although nowadays attention is focused more on Tufnell, who had 5 for 47 in 29.2 overs.

Emburey will remember that he was the object of attention as Fred Titmus, his off-spinning predecessor at Lord's, came to the end of his career. Emburey's Test life is finished, but being the man he is he will enjoy bowling with Tufnell and doing what he can to help the left-arm spinner.