WHILE England persist in picking a batsman to man the stumps, Australia took their variation on the wicketkeeping all-rounder theory a step further yesterday as Tim Zoehrer traded gloves for ball and spun them to victory over the Combined Universities.
Zoehrer took 3 for 16 with his leg-spin as the students, after spirited resistance for two days, folded in just over three hours to lose by 166 runs.
The team's No 1 leggie, Shane Warne, took his tour haul of wickets to 45 with two more but Brendon Julian emerged the happiest bowler, his three wickets making him firm favourite to win the departing Craig McDermott's place. 'It gives me a sniff,' Julian said. 'But I got a bit frustrated at times and can do better. It will all depend on the next match.'
Only Matthew Windows and Jon Wileman, of Salford University, delayed the tourists, both falling just short of half-centuries.
After Australia had added 55 runs at one a minute in the morning, the students were set an academic 324 to win. Their defeat was effectively ensured in a six-over spell early on, during which Julian took three wickets for no runs and Wayne Holdsworth put his compatriot Geoff Lovell out of the match with a badly cut forefinger. Warne and Zoehrer then mopped up.
Watching them was the off-spinner Tim May, who played the whole match without batting, bowling or holding a catch. May, whose spinning fingers needed rest after Lord's, will bowl today in Southampton, where Warne will be rested.
Although the students showed application and enthusiasm - more than some of the counties have in these matches - this fixture only lasted into the third day by virtue of a dead pitch and it is doubtful whether it deserves to be first-class.
However, with the pavilion honours board listing most of English cricket's current hierarchy - the other half are presumably scrolled at Fenner's - the match is unlikely to be scrapped, and it need not be. Either some 'old boys' (such as Atherton and Pringle) could beef up the side or it could make a very pleasant one-day festival.Reuse content