Shah saves face for England A

Cricket England A 155-9 v NSW XI
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Owais Shah hit a composed 76 to save England A from a disastrous start to their four-day tour match with a New South Wales XI in Tamworth yesterday.

Shah, the 18-year-old schoolboy from Middlesex, hit 11 fours as England A slumped to 155 for 9 before a torrential hailstorm halted play after 69.2 overs. Stuart MacGill, rated by many as the next best Australian leg-spinner behind Shane Warne, took 4 for 43 while the left-arm spinner Dave Freedman claimed 2 for 21 to leave Shah with the burden of attempting to rescue the tourists.

Yorkshire's Craig White made England's only other notable contribution, scoring 33 in a 60-run partnership with Shah as the rest of the batsmen failed to deliver against a side that included just three players with State cricket experience.

Back at home, the first job of the new Sussex captain, Peter Moores, will be to try and persuade the England leg-spinner Ian Salisbury to stay at Hove. Moores, 33, who has replaced the sacked Alan Wells, says he will be speaking to Salisbury, who is believed to be a target of Surrey, as well as the batsman Martin Speight and the all-rounder Danny Law.

"I will do my best to try and keep them, but it's their decision and they have to stay because they want to," said Moores, who joined Sussex in 1985.

Several Sussex players were said to be unhappy with Wells' style of leadership and Moores admitted the club have become "frustrated" because of a lack of success. Wells, 35, sacked after five years in charge, is unlikely to see out the remaining two years of his contract.

Derbyshire have issued a "hands off" warning to clubs interested in their batsman Chris Adams. The 26-year-old had his best season in 1996, scoring 1,742 runs, and was the subject of an approach by Sussex. The Derbyshire chairman, Mike Horton, said: "Sussex asked for permission to approach Chris in the belief he was out of contract. They were told his contract has two years to run. Other counties were rumoured to be interested so I sent a fax to all 17, expressing concern about the number of clubs believed to be approaching Chris."

TOUR MATCH (First day of four) Tamworth, NSW: England A won toss

ENGLAND A - First Innings

M A Butcher b MacGill 8

J E R Gallian lbw b Alley 13

A McGrath b Alley 3

O A Shah c Haywood b Freedman 76

*A J Hollioake st Glassock b MacGill 11

C White lbw b Freedman 33

W K Hegg c Alley b MacGill 3

A F Giles c McQuire b MacGill 5

G Chapple c Maraziotis b Thompson 1

D W Headley not out 0

P M Such not out 0

Extras (lb2) 2

Total (for 9, 69.2 overs) 155

Fall: 1-21, 2-21, 3-25, 4-60, 5-120, 6-127, 7-143, 8-155, 9-155.

Bowling: Alley 10-3-21-2; Clark 7-0-28-0; MacGill 25-3-43-4; Thompson 7-2-20-1; Freedman 20.2-6-41-2.

NEW SOUTH WALES XI: *M Haywood, P Alley, D Freedman, J Armberger, S Clark, S Thompson, S MacGill, P Maraziotis, A McQuire, G Rummans, C Glassock.

Umpires: S Tausel and I Emerson.