Headley earns praise and rest

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Dean Headley earned reluctant praise yesterday for his outstanding contribution to England A's tour from South Australia's Joe Scuderi. The Kent fast bowler claimed a career-best 11 for 98 - the fifth time in as many first-class matches for England A he has captured five wickets or more in an innings - to help the tourists snatch a sensational 12-run victory over the Sheffield Shield holders in Adelaide on Monday.

South Australia, a normally disciplined and highly competitive outfit, were reduced to openly disputing two of Headley's wickets and Jamie Siddons, their captain, and Scuderi were spoken to for dissent by the umpires.

Scuderi, who has played for the Lancashire league club Colne for the past six seasons, put aside his disappointment at England's victory to salute Headley's performance.

"He's a really good bowler," Scuderi admitted. "He's got a bit of zip about him and he bowls at the stumps. He also bowls just short of a length, which doesn't give you much to go on."

England made the short flight across South Australia to Mount Gambia yesterday to begin preparations for their four-day match against the much- heralded Academy side, when Headley is expected to be rested.

Jimmy Adams and Courtney Browne spared the West Indies' blushes yesterday in their limited-overs match against a Northern Territory Invitation XI at Alice Springs. Coming together at 66 for 5, the sixth-wicket pair added 98 to lift their side to 218 for 8 in their 50 overs. The Invitation XI, containing seven Sheffield Shield players, were dismissed for 170 in 42.5 overs.

TOUR MATCH (Alice Springs): West Indies 218 for 8 (50 overs; J C Adams 67, C O Browne 50); Northern Territory Invitation XI 170 (42.5 overs; A C Gilchrist 64no). West Indies won by 48 runs.