England A beaten

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The Independent Online
The taste of defeat, their first in India, should refocus Allan Wells' England A team for the final fortnight of their highly successful tour. That is the opinion of both the captain Wells and the team manager, Phil Neale, in the wake of Saturday's controversial six-run defeat in the opening one-day international against India A at Indore.

Wells' side felt harshly treated by the match umpires, who imposed a one-over penalty for England's failure to bowl their 50 overs inside the prescribed three and a half-hour limit.

Four minutes of time was allowed for various stoppages but that still left England a further four minutes over the limit as India A reached 201 for 7. The umpires' decision meant that England had left themselves only 49 overs in which to score 202.

In the end, despite a brave chase on a pitch getting slower by the minute, lower and more difficult to play strokes on, the missing over made all the difference. The final over began with 14 runs still wanted and that proved too tall an order for Paul Nixon and the last man, Richard Stemp.

Neale said: "What upset us most was that the umpires allowed only two and a half minutes for the delay following Vikram Rathore's blow on the helmet, when in fact it was at least five minutes.

"Then there was another injury, plus a lot of coming and going for glove changes. None of that was of our doing. In the next games, we shall just have to disallow the opposition things like that if the umpires are not going to be more lenient.''

ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL (Indore): India A 201 for 7 (A A Muzumdar 79); England A 195 (U Chatterjee 4-32). India A won by 6 runs.