Caddick's four-wicket haul lifts England spirits

Western Australia 213 England 54

Angus Fraser
Tuesday 29 October 2002 01:00
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It has taken England longer than they would have liked, but Nasser Hussain's team at last showed the hard-to-impress Australian public that they can play cricket too. With the first Test against Australia only six playing days away, yesterday's impressive display against Western Australia has not come a day too early.

Following poor performances in their first two warm-up games, it was vital that England's efforts started to gain some momentum and, while their improvement will not yet have Steve Waugh's Australian side quaking in their boots, it will have done wonders for the tourists' confidence.

The most pleasing aspect of the day for Hussain would have been the performance of his bowlers and in particular that of Andrew Caddick. The Somerset man was outstanding and deserved his four wickets. On his first full tour of Australia the 33-year-old spent nearly all day at the WACA bowling into the teeth of a howling gale.

Coming off three times for rain would have eased the burden but, rather than fight the Fremantle Doctor, Caddick eased in and bowled with precision on a pitch where in the past far too many bowlers have got carried away because of its pace and bounce.

There has been criticism in the past of Caddick's inability to bowl a fuller length when conditions have dictated that he should. Too often his attempts to adapt have led to him floating the ball up to the batsman. Yesterday, however, he led the attack and it was the extra bounce he gained from bowling a full length that brought him his rewards.

His most satisfying dismissal would have been that of the home captain and Australian opening batsman, Justin Langer. These two will see a lot of each other over the next three months and it is always good to make your opponent worry about you early in a series. Caddick got one to bounce steeply off a good length at the left-hander. The ball rapped him on the gloves and flew to short-leg where John Crawley took a sharp catch. Watching Langer walk off shaking his hand even had Hussain smiling.

Caddick received good support from Simon Jones and Steve Harmison, who both had the benefit of the the wind blowing behind them. They bowled with plenty of pace and aggression and when they put the ball in the right area they troubled the batsmen. Both, however, were guilty of bowling a bit too short at times.

It was a short one from Harmison, who had not expected to play in this match, that saw off WA's most dangerous-looking batsman, Ryan Campbell. This destructive wicketkeeper-batsman was taking the day away from England when he top-edged a hook off a ball that was too quick for him.

With the cream of WA dismissed by Caddick and Harmison it was left to Ashley Giles to tuck into the tail. Despite being hit over his head for six by Marcus North, who in scoring 71 not out was WA's best player, the left-arm spinner enjoyed a good work-out and will have enjoyed his three wickets, even if they were slightly flattering.

On a day when virtually everything went right for Hussain – from the moment he won the toss to the sight of Robert Key and Marcus Trescothick walking off the field having put on 54 imperious runs in reply – there was bound to be one setback and that was Jones ponderously walking off the over after taking a wicket.

The message was that he was only having a massage on his right shoulder. Instinct suggests that, with WA nine wickets down, there may be more to it than that. For England's sake it is hoped not.

PERTH SCOREBOARD

First day of three; England won toss

WESTERN AUSTRALIA – First Innings
J L Langer c Crawley b Caddick 13
S W Meuleman c Stewart b Harmison 21
C J L Rogers c Stewart b Caddick 7
M E K Hussey c Trescothick b Caddick 0
M J North not out 71
R J Campbell c Caddick b Harmison 37
G B Hogg lbw b Giles 22
M J Nicholson c Key b Jones 19
S J Karppinen b Giles 1
B A Williams lbw b Giles 3
J Angel c Key b Caddick 4
Extras (b2 lb7 w2 nb4) 15
Total (65.5 overs) 213

Fall: 1-34 2-51 3-52 4-54 5-120 6-163 7-194 8-197 9-202.

Bowling: Caddick 19.5-9-49-4; Jones 14-3-49-1; Harmison 11-3-30-2; White 10-3-34-0; Giles 11-0-42-3.

ENGLAND – First Innings
M E Trescothick not out 21
R W T Key not out 33
Total (for 0, 9 overs) 54

To bat: M A Butcher, N Hussain, J P Crawley, A J Stewart, C White, A F Giles, A R Caddick, S P Jones, S J Harmison.

Bowling (to date): Williams 4-0-25-0; Karppinen 4-1-19-0; Nicholson 1-0-10-0.

Umpires: I H Lock and R G Patterson.

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