Cricket: Wells practises what he preached: England A maintain run

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England A 170-9; Western Province Invitation XI 151-7. England A win by 19 runs

AS ONE of Mike Gatting's 'rebels' four years ago, Alan Wells will always figure in the demonology of South African cricket history. But he also occupies a place of honour having coached in the black townships five years ago.

Yesterday, in his first game as an England captain, Wells led the A team back to a sight of his missionary work and rescued them from possible defeat with a bold 65 off 85 balls.

With Martin Bicknell coming successfully through his comeback match with runs and wickets, it was enough to give England a seventh successive win in sweltering heat.

Wells had come in with England 19 for 4 after choosing to bat on a sporty wicket, all those promoted for batting practice already back in the hutch.

With Adrian Dale, who later dislocated a finger in the field but is expected to be fit for the next match, Wells added 87 and Bicknell's late slog gave England just enough.

It was not expected to be so close even if the wicket eased after the first hour. With Western Province having played a limited-overs match the previous night, the invitation side included Wells's proteges.

But the team did contain one well known name, Hylton Ackerman Jnr, whose father was due to make his Test debut on the aborted 1970-71 tour of Australia. In the event, the nearest he got to internationals was playing for various Cavalier sides and Northamptonshire.

Ackerman lived up to the family reputation with gusto, leading Western Province's challenge with an increasingly rapid 68. Watched by his father, the 20-year-old took the innings up to eight an over and was especially severe on the spinners. But Bicknell returned and a thick, skied edge was taken by the stand-in keeper John Crawley (Steve Rhodes was rested) and, isolated hitting apart, the chase was over.

(England A won toss)

ENGLAND A

M N Lathwell b Simelela. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

M B Loye c Solomons b Meyer. . . . . . . . . . . . 7

A Dale c Malamba b Meyer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

R D B Croft c Conrad b Simelela. . . . . . . . 4

D G Cork c Solomons b Meyer. . . . . . . . . . . . 1

* A P Wells c Touzel b Meyer. . . . . . . . . . 65

J P Crawley run out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

M P Bicknell not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

D Gough b Barnes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

M C Ilott run out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

Extras (lb1 w9 nb4). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Total (for 9, 45 overs). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170

Fall: 1-13 2-13 3-18 4-19 5-106 6-126 7-133 8-170 9-170.

Did not bat: P M Such.

Bowling: Meyer 9-1-25-4; Simelela 9-0-28-2; Barnes 9-0-29-1; Bulbring 9-1-39-0; Conrad 9-0-48-0.

WESTERN PROVINCE XI

B Touzel b Bicknell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

H D Ackerman c Crawley b Bicknell. . . . . 68

T Tholeni b Gough. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

R Isaacs c Ilott b Such. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

* S Conrad c Dale b Such. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

B Malamba b Gough. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

M Solomons b Gough. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

A Meyer not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

V Barnes not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

Extras (b3 lb4 w2 nb4) 13

Total (for 7, 45 overs)151

Fall: 1-16 2-37 3-62 4-83 5-127 6-129 7-140.

Did not bat: S Bulbring, F Simelela.

Bowling: Bicknell 9-1-29-2; Ilott 5-1-10-0; Gough 9-1-32-3; Cork 6-3-17-0; Croft 8-2-30- 0; Such 8-0-26-2.

Umpires: H Reid and R Pilowski.

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