Butcher set to miss Ashes

Surrey 340 & 310-7 dec - Warwickshire 209 & 18-1
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Mark Butcher's battle to be fit for the Ashes series gets tougher by the day. He broke off from watching Surrey take a firm grip of events here to reveal that, if anything, his injured left wrist has got worse.

Mark Butcher's battle to be fit for the Ashes series gets tougher by the day. He broke off from watching Surrey take a firm grip of events here to reveal that, if anything, his injured left wrist has got worse.

Intensive treatment and corrective surgery to the damaged ligament has not worked, and Butcher said yesterday: "If anything, in the last three or four days it has been sore just doing everyday things.

"I am seeing a different surgeon on Monday who is going to assess it and see if anything else can be done, be it injections or opening it up to have a look."

The left-handed batsman's chances of making the first Ashes Test at Lord's in six weeks' time look remote. The same could also be said of Warwickshire's hopes of salvaging victory from this game, after being left to score an unlikely 442 for victory.

The loss of their opener Ian Westwood shortly before torrential rain ended play early did not help the cause, which is to score the remaining 424 runs off a possible 96 overs today.

Westwood's push, which presented Alistair Brown with a sharp chance low down at second slip, gave Jimmy Ormond his 400th first-class wicket. That was payback of a sort, since Ormond had become Westwood's maiden first-class wicket on the stroke of tea.

By then Surrey were well out of reach, despite Naqaash Tahir's efforts. He picked up three wickets for 28 runs, before a side injury took him out of the attack. They were impressive figures in the light of the assault to which Martin Bicknell and Tim Murtagh subjected the Warwickshire attack as they added 93 runs in 24 overs for the sixth wicket.

Bicknell ended up with his second half-century of the season and Murtagh, dropped on 14, smashed his way to 74, equalling his career best.

Comments