Cricket: Wiles of Warne change shape of game

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The Independent Online
Australians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .414-4 dec and 235-7 dec

Glamorgan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .363-8 dec and 169-6

Match drawn

ALTHOUGH rain claimed 16 overs at the start of the day and 14 towards the end, there was still enough time for some more highly entertaining cricket and a good declaration by Allan Border. Australia were 235 for 7 when he called them in, leaving Glamorgan to score 287 in a minimum of 64 overs.

They lost a couple of early wickets, then saw Matthew Maynard and Adrian Dale blossom in a stand which began to suggest a Glamorgan victory. But once again Shane Warne changed the shape of the match and, when rain finally intervened, Glamorgan were 169 for 6 and glad of a draw.

Before all that we had the most hilarious cricket of the day when Merv Hughes took his score to 71 in the morning. The night before, various bets and incentives had been offered and Hughes stood to win pounds 30 from an Australian photographer for every six he hit yesterday. He was pounds 90 richer by the time he was out. He also stood to pick up pounds 100 from Border if he had reached a 100.

Paul Reiffel also completed a good 52 and the lunch interval was a convenient time to call a halt, leaving Glamorgan to score 4.5 per over if they were to win. But, in the fourth over, Hugh Morris mishit a square flash and was caught in the gully, in the next over David Boon took his second catch low to his right when James Williams failed to get over a lifter from Hughes.

Maynard came in to a great reception to mark his Test selection and sensibly did not try and bat as he had done in the first innings. It was a while before he off-drove Hughes for four and there was a further period of watchfulness before Reiffel was whipped off his body to the square-leg boundary.

Warne was now spinning and flighting the ball and he mesmerised and beat Maynard in a manner which will make the Australians less apprehensive of him at Edgbaston.

At 92, Maynard was yorked driving across Wayne Holdsworth and Warne then spun a beauty across Dale which found the edge. David Hemp again batted well before another prodigious leg break bowled him when he played no stroke. Soon after the rain began.

Tim May, the Australian off- spinner who suffered a slight hamstring injury at Neath, will have a fitness test in Birmingham before Thursday's Test match against England at Edgbaston. If he fails Mike Whitney or Jo Angel, both seam bowlers, could be called up.

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