Frontier gives Stewart time to rebuild empire

England arrived at the North-West Frontier yesterday seeking inspiration from a legendary place which once embodied the expansion of Empire. This intractable, mountainous area was the stuff of romantic warfare where 150 years ago British troops began a series of gruelling campaigns against a noble enemy they came to admire.

England arrived at the North-West Frontier yesterday seeking inspiration from a legendary place which once embodied the expansion of Empire. This intractable, mountainous area was the stuff of romantic warfare where 150 years ago British troops began a series of gruelling campaigns against a noble enemy they came to admire.

It may not be quite like that on Wednesday when England play the Governor's XI in the final warm-up match before the First Test but if they can leave with their dignity intact - not invariably the case with their military forbears - they will at least have been stimulated for the harder labours ahead.

These historic surroundings may be just what Alec Stewart requires. Nobody is going out on a limb about his state of mind in the five days since he was named in the Indian report on match-rigging.

Duncan Fletcher, the team's coach, conceded yesterday that the affair had affected his role: "It's got be of some concern. He's one of your team-mates and you've got to look at his behaviour and try to keep him going and interested in cricket. He's crucial to the balance of the side.

"Alec might be sparky tomorrow morning. It could take two days, it could take two weeks - you've just got to play it day by day."

These cautionary comments followed those of the captain, Nasser Hussain, who warned that he did not know if Stewart would be right for the first Test.

Stewart has firmly rebutted claims in the report that, on England's 1993 tour of India, he accepted £5,000 from a bookmaker for match information.

Ever the hand-on-heart patriot, he will have noticed the colonial military buildings as the team charabanc hit the outskirts of town yesterday. Who knows? All this may galvanise him.

England are being coy about the team they intend to play here, preferring to wait until they see the pitch. They must fear another well-grassed track, as they had in Rawalpindi last week, which will not necessarily favour spin.

They know that when the Tests arrive they will be on pitches that turn early and both batsmen and bowlers urgently need practice. The only certainty is that the quartet who were rested last week, including Stewart if he is judged to be in good enough frame of mind, will play.

Fletcher was forced to concede that the final XI would be pretty close to (and probably exactly identical to) the team they intend to play in Lahore for the first Test. "From the last Test side we played in England it's going to change a little bit. Obviously we're going to have a look at a spinner," he said.

By the end of the week, there may be a clearer idea of England's prospects. That will not mean they will be overwhelmingly good whatever happens but Fletcher was clearly miffed that the batsmen only had one innings in the match at Rawalpindi last week. The England win, by an innings and 27 runs, deprived them.

That opposition were not as stern as might have been expected or desired but England are in no position to complain on this score given the woefully inadequate teams counties put out against touring sides.

The victory should not be discounted. England have not often won first-class matches here. Suggestions that they had never done so, apart from the first Test they played here in 1962, might have been wide of the mark but their last win until they dispatched the Patron's XI on Saturday came 23 years ago. On both tours to the country in the 1980s they never won a first-class match. The 1977 victory happened to be in Peshawar.

* Lance Klusener struck fours off the last two balls as South Africa snatched a three-wicket win in the sixth and final limited-overs international against New Zealand in Cape Town. Man-of-the-match Klusener hit an unbeaten 59 off 42 balls to deny NZ a win in the series. In the Kiwis' innings of 256-9, Roger Twose hit his maiden international century in a record 150-run fourth-wicket stand with Chris Cairns. The stand was also the highest for any wicket for New Zealand against South Africa. Jonty Rhodes (69) and Mark Boucher (46) gave South Africa hope with a fifth-wicket stand of 106. Klusener worked with debutant Shafiek Abrahams (16 no) to put on 69 off the last 53 balls.

SCOREBOARD

Final day of four; Patron's XI won toss

PCB PATRON'S XI First Innings 237 (Qaisar Abbas 71; M J Hoggard 5-62).

ENGLAND First Innings 433 (C White 120, G P Thorpe 88, G A Hick 81; Mohammad Akram 4-105).

PCB PATRON'S XI

Second Innings Overnight Friday: 49 for 1

Naved Ashraf c Nixon b Hoggard 44 Kamran Ali run out 18 *Mohammad Wasim lbw b Hoggard 12 Qaisar Abbas c Salisbury b Giles 44 Salman Shah c Nixon b Giles 7 ÿJaved Qadeer lbw b Salisbury 0 Mohammad Shafiq c Nixon b Hoggard 26 Munir Ansari c Nixon b Hoggard 0 Mohammad Akram c Trescothick b Giles 0 Mohammad Sami not out 0 Extras (b1 lb5) 6 Total (65.3 overs) 169

Fall (cont): 2-59, 3-86, 4-97, 5-111, 6-126, 7-165, 8-169, 9-169.

Bowling: Hoggard 18-2-40-4; Cork 9-3-24-0; Giles 16.3-5-38-3; Salisbury 19-0-51-2; Trescothick 3-1-10-0.

Umpires: Kamal Marchant and Z I Pasha.

England won by an innings and 27 runs.

Sport
Brazilian fans watch the match for third place between Brazil and Netherlands
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: Dutch pile on the misery in third place playoff
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
Arts and Entertainment
books The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?