England make disastrous start to Vaughan's Test capitaincy

Ihithisham Kamardeen,Ap
Thursday 31 July 2003 00:00

Fast bowler Makhaya Ntini took 5-75 to send England crashing to 173 all out this afternoon in Michael Vaughan's captaincy debut in the second test at Lord's.

Sent into bat on a damp pitch in bowler-friendly conditions, England's first innings lasted just 48.4 overs and less than two sessions.

All-rounder Andrew Hall celebrated his test recall and his 28th birthday by taking 3-18 in 10 overs. Former captain and seam bowler Shaun Pollock took 2-28.

Vaughan batted for an hour and 47 minutes and held the top-order together with 33 runs.

England's inept batting performance after escaping with a draw in the rain-hit opening test at Edgbaston, undermined Vaughan's first day as captain since he took over after the sudden resignation of Nasser Hussain on Monday.

England collapsed either side of the lunch break after having cruised to 73 for two despite the early dismissals of opener Marcus Trescothick and Mark Butcher.

The new-look England lost seven wickets for 45 runs against Hall and Ntini in one of their worst batting performances at home in recent years.

Only an unlikely 55-run stand between tailenders Darren Gough (34) and James Anderson, a career-best 21 not out, saved face after England was teetering on 118 for nine.

Gough's top score ended when he skied Pollock to Paul Adams at mid-off. He hit two sixes and three fours and shared the stand in 47 minutes off 67 balls.

Gough hit left-arm spinner Adams for two sixes in four balls.

While Ntini produced a dream bowling performance, Hall justified his call up as a replacement for the still absent Jacques Kallis.

Pulled out of his county duties with Worcestershire, the all-rounder removed Hussain and Anthony McGrath in one over and dismissed Ashley Giles in the post lunch session to hurry the England capitulation.

Hall, not a member of the test squad, also caught Butcher off Pollock.

Meanwhile Ntini, who claimed for Marcus Trescothick and Vaughan before lunch, dismissed Alec Stewart (7) and Andrew Flintoff (11) as he lured the pair with two short-pitched deliveries.

Stewart and Flintoff had started after lunch on 94 for five and carried England's hopes of a batting recovery and a sizeable total. Both batsmen were caught by Adams.

Stewart pulled halfheartedly and was caught at square leg while Flintoff hooked a catch to the long-leg boundary.

Vaughan played nervously and took 16 balls to score his first run. His 66-ball innings was punctuated with a series of streaky strokes, one of which almost carried to his South Africa counterpart Smith standing at second slip off swing bowler Dewald Pretorius.

Pretorius left the field after four overs nursing a right hamstring injury.

England batsmen struggled to put bat to ball although Butcher punished Ntini with a 19 runs off 17 balls including four boundaries.

After Ntini forced Trescothick to play on, Butcher hit him for three consecutive fours - off-drive, cut and a cover-drive - as the opening six overs cost the bowler 41 runs.

But Pollock, who conceded 10 runs in his opening nine-over spell, had Butcher caught by third slip Hall to reduce England to 35 for two.

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