Cricket: White to the rescue

England A 231-4 v Victoria
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The Independent Online
Craig White produced his most accomplished innings in England colours to help the A team out of trouble and into a commanding position on the opening day of their four-day match with Victoria at Melbourne's Optus Oval stadium yesterday.

The Yorkshire player, who last played for England in the sixth and final Test against the West Indies at Trent Bridge in August last year, re-established his credentials for the Test all-rounder's place with an unbeaten 92 as the tourists reached 231 for 4 at the close.

White's vital contribution, which included crucial partnerships with Mark Butcher and Adam Hollioake, enabled England to recover from losing Michael Vaughan, Anthony McGrath and Owais Shah, which had left them struggling on 59 for 3.

White, dropped twice on 45 and 85, overcame numerous weather interruptions to steer the tourists out of trouble with a 78-run stand with Butcher, who fell for 55 after being brilliantly stumped by the wicketkeeper Peter Roach off the off-spinner Brad Hodge.

White continued his assault and hammered 11 fours in an innings lasting more than three hours to finish just eight short of England A's first century of the tour, having combined with Hollioake (45no) in an unbroken 94-run fifth-wicket partnership.

First day of four; Victoria won toss

ENGLAND A - First Innings

M A Butcher st Roach b Hodge 55

M P Vaughan c Roach b Saker 5

A McGrath lbw b Fleming 9

O A Shah c Foster b Dodemaide 17

C White not out 92

*A J Hollioake not out 45

Extras (lb4, nb4) 8

Total (for 4, 80 overs) 231

Fall: 1-12, 2-21, 3-59, 4-137.

To bat: M A Ealham, W K Hegg, A F Giles, G Chapple, D W Headley.

Bowling: Fleming 16-6-27-1; Saker 14-2-36-1; Dodemaide 19-6-31-1; Harvey 14-1-55-0; Stacey 10-1-50-0; Hodge 4-0-15-1; Harper 3-0-13-0.

VICTORIA: *A I C Dodemaide, W G Ayers, B J Hodge, M R Foster, L D Harper, I J Harvey, D W Fleming, D J Saker, B J Stacey, G R Vimpani, P J Roach.

Umpires: G T Morrow and I W Stratford.