Tour match: Otago v England XI at Queenstown, 2-4 Mar 2002
Lynn McConnell

England XI 1st innings: Day Two, End of innings,
Otago 1st innings: Tea - Day Two, Drinks-last session, Stumps Day Two,
Live Reports from previous days

Otago ended the second day four runs short of claiming the first innings lead, leaving the last day of their three-day match with England interestingly poised at Queenstown's Events Centre.

In the hope of avoiding an international incident, Otago are likely to declare as soon as they pass the total, giving England the chance to improve on their first innings batting effort.

At stumps, Otago were 150/6 with Craig Pryor six not out and Nathan Morland two not out.

Otago managed their own collapse in the last session of the day. Just after the drinks break Craig Cumming edged Craig White to wicket-keeper Warren Hegg to end his 101 ball innings with 31 runs with Otago 119/3.

Mark Butcher entered the bowling attack and immediately conceded 11 runs off his first over - four cut over point, four cover slashed and three cover driven - all to Chris Gaffaney.

However, the return of Andrew Caddick from the Coronet Peak end soon curtailed any hopes of a breakout inspired by Gaffaney's form of attack. He suffered the temptation that has afflicted many of the batsmen in this game but nibbling at a ball wide of off stump and being caught by Graham Thorpe at third slip for 31.

Otago were 136/4, and next over 136/5 as Butcher caught the edge of Simon Bear's bat and flew to Andrew Flintoff at first slip.

Caddick also picked up Duncan Drew, having his first bat in first-class cricket after two previous games in which he was not required to bat.

Drew scored two with Otago still 10 runs short of equalling England's first innings score of 153.

Caddick ended with four wickets for 42 runs off his 18 overs.

It was a much more successful day for England, more for time spent in play than anything else. But 75 overs was far more than seemed likely when play didn't start until 1pm. But the threatened rain stayed away all afternoon.

Otago's batsmen were providing England's bowlers with a solid test during their first innings in the National Bank tour match at Queenstown's Events Centre this afternoon.

At the drinks break in the final session of the second day, Otago were 112/2 with captain Craig Cumming 27 not out and Chris Gaffaney on 14 not out.

The bowlers were unable to extract none of the fire and venom the Otago bowlers managed during their stint at the bowling crease when the bowled England out for 153.

Andrew Caddick, most in need of a good, long bowl after disappointing during the one-day international series, had both wickets to fall, for a cost of 35 runs, picking up international one-day batsman Brendon McCullum for 34 just after the tea break.

McCullum batted for 45 balls and hit four fours when he left the crease with his side at 69/2.

Cumming was dropped by Andrew Flintoff from what would have been a good caught and bowled dismissal when on six. He cashed in on the chance and took toll in Craig White's first over. He miscued a hook and Marcus Trescothick immediately placed a fieldsman at square left and tempted Cumming again.

Cumming rose to the bat and hooked next ball, but the ball fell just short of the fieldsman who then had to turn and chase the ball for two runs.

Gaffaney took the opportunity to attack in his usual vein and hit a trademark four over the slips cordon.

White was especially effective and relished the conditions and had only seven runs off his five overs. Similarly, Flintoff had 12 runs from his seven overs. James Ormond was not quite so effective and had none for 41 from his 10 overs.

Otago were quickly into their stride in their bid to put the pressure on England in their first innings of their game at Queenstown's Events Centre today.

England, all out for 153, had Otago 60/1 at the tea break on the shortened second day.

One-Day International Brendon McCullum was 29 not out and Craig Cumming, who came to the wicket after Robert Lawson was dismissed edging a ball to Mark Butcher from Andrew Caddick's bowling, was five not out.

It was a positive start by the luckless Otago team which has failed to put a win on the board in the domestic programme this year.

McCullum attacked when he had the chance, at one stage forcing Marcus Trescothick to set a leg trap to James Ormond's bowling. McCullum had earlier played one good hook shot to Andrew Caddick's bowling for four.

Lawson played a fine square drive off Caddick for four, but off the next ball he offered the chance that resulted in his demise and he was out for 18.

Otago's first wicket fell at 35 runs.

Conditions were much better during the afternoon with the sun breaking through and taking the edge off the cool breeze blowing over the ground.

England were dismissed for 153 soon after the first drinks break on the shortened second day of their three-day match with Otago at Queenstown's Events Centre today.

It took only 218 minutes and 49.4 overs for Otago to roll the tourists. Play started at 1pm and a minimum of 77 overs were to be bowled, weather permitting today.

England's tail order, and wicket-keeper Warren Hegg especially, found batting much simpler than the more preferred batsmen yesterday.

Resuming at 82/6, England needed to at least post a competitive score to keep interest in the match alive, and Hegg and Richard Dawson did their best to achieve that.

Craig White was an early departure, being caught at second slip by Nathan Morland from Kerry Walmsley's bowling for nine. It was a battling innings from White who spent 41 balls at the crease before departing with the score on 88.

Hegg and Dawson then fashioned the best partnership of the innings with 43 runs, scored in sensible fashion, with a minimum of risk, before Hegg followed one from Craig Pryor and touched it in the direction of third slip where Simon Beare held the chance to remove Hegg for 33.

Disaster then followed for James Ormond when he played a carbon copy shot off the next ball and was dismissed in the same fashion and England, after some good recovery work were 131/9.

Pryor achieved the fourth five wicket bag of his career and almost had a sixth wicket when Andrew Caddick all but failed to get a touch to what would have been the hat-trick ball.

Pryor ended with five for 45 from 12 overs.

However, Caddick assisted Richard Dawson in adding 22 for the last wicket before Morland picked up his second catch of the day from Kerry Walmsley's bowling to have Caddick out for six.

Dawson remained 24 not out, scored off 39 balls. Walmsley took two for 41 off 14.4 overs and David Sewell, another former international in the Otago side, took two for 31.

Heavy overnight rain at Queenstown's Events Centre left its mark on the ground and no play will be possible before 1pm on today's scheduled second day of the England-Otago National Bank tour match.

The troublesome southern end of the pitch was the problem again. Despite being well covered, it still managed to attract a great deal of dampness and while overhead conditions were fine, there was no rapid drying to allow play to start any earlier.

England are in increasingly desperate need of the batting practice as seen from their position at the end of the play available on the first day when they were 82/6, victims of some of Otago's best bowling of the summer, and some good swing bowling.

The surrounding mountains reflect the drop in temperatures with snow dusting the peaks while the amount of cloud around suggests the weather worries for this match may not be over with.

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Date-stamped : 03 Mar2002 - 10:41