Cricket: Beyond the Boundary: No sooner had India found a bowler than they lost a batsman

The Texaco Trophy series which ended on Monday afternoon was unusually gripping. With England des- perate to recover their self-respect, it had an importance that eludes the average biff-bang contest. And, as it turned out, there was not much biff and even less bang.

Pitfalls of pinch-hitting

The Sri Lankans showed in the World Cup that on the slow sub-continental pitches pinch-hitting is a legitimate and highly successful tactic. On an Oval pitch with early moisture it is a hazardous pursuit.

Lewis on the rampage for new England

England 291-8 v India 96-5

Thorpe struck painful blow

The Surrey and England batsman Graham Thorpe was taken to hospital for a precautionary X-ray after being struck just above the right elbow by a rising delivery from Somerset's Andre van Troost at Taunton yesterday.

Thorpe's sights on 21st century

Cricket

Cricket: England seek a new mood

Curtain rises on the season with an unlikely call for fresh spirit after World Cup campaign that ended in humiliation; Simon O'Hagan studies moves to fulfil unrealised talent in the game

England stumble on the starting line

Cricket

Master of the short game

while Atherton leans on the specialist skills of a batsman whose ambition on the wider stage has yet to be fulfilled; Robert Winder studies the talents of a Lancashire player still keen to pass the test

Why we should swear by the referee

IF LIFE was but a game and God the referee, the sound of the whistle would reverberate around the world continuously. He would need a sin-bin as big as France and miscreants would trudge there from all corners of the globe and do so without protest because He doesn't miss a thing. Appeals and personal hearings . . . forget them. It would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a piece of video evidence to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Atherton blames batsmen

reports from Port Elizabeth South Africa 218-9 England 154 (South Africa win by 64 runs)

Hick strikes to light up England

Cricket: ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL: South Africa prevented from exploiting quick start

Cronje mars S Africa's triumph

FIFTH TEST: England surrender the series as their batting falls apart amid umpiring controversy at Newlands

The umpire's decision is no longer final

ROBERT WINDER

History witnessed from 22 yards

'You get strong vibes from Athers. He's as hard as nails. The bloke is like a rock, he inspires you to want to stay with him'; Derek Pringle talks to the six players who for 492 balls and nearly 11 hours took turns to observe a captain's innings to end them all
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