Cricket News 23/10/02
Nasser Hussain believed on his arrival in Australia, England were a chance of winning the coming Ashes series against the Australians, but after yesterday's dismal performance against the ACB Chairman's XI at Lilac Hill in Western Australia, which bordered on a performance of a comedy of errors, Hussain would be forgiven if he was now to realise that Ashes victory was nothing more than wishful thinking and is, an impossibility.
Convicingly thrashed by a team that included several former Aussie players aged 40 or more and retired for longer than they actually represented Australia, the so called visiting England Test Team, looked more akin to a bunch of local park cricketer's engaged in a Sunday social match, than a team aspiring to the hope of restoring the pride of a nation and returning the Ashes to the Motherland.
The Aussies who made 301 runs for the loss of seven wickets from their alotted 50 overs, were able to easily despatch the Englishmen back to the pavilion for the meagre total of 243 runs, with the last wicket falling from the 5th ball of the 48th over. A fine knock of 68 from opener Robert Key and a further 65 runs from Nasser Hussain, were the only thing that saved England from suffering a total embarrassment during the day.
Earlier, during the Australian batting innings, England seam bowler and one of their main Ashes bowling hopes Steve Harmison, made a complete hash of his bowling debut in Australia when he bowled a total of 16 wides, including seven successive wide deliveries in the one over, from his seven over spell with the ball. With match figures of 0-42 from seven overs, Harmison left the oval for "treatment" after his 14 delivery fourth over and resumed bowling later in the match.
Although missing several of their top players through injury, England should have been more than capable of beating the ACB Chairmans XI in what is normally nothing more than an exhibition match for the crowds. Aussie left arm wrist spinner Brad Hogg, who took five wickets during his bowling spell, was able to so easily get rid of the England middle order and tail, subsequently one can only wonder how many scalps a bowler of the calibre of Shane Warne is likely to get when the real business of the Ashes gets underway.
If England think they can do any more than give the Aussies a little batting practice, they had better think again or better still, start advertising in all the daily newspapers for a bowler who can at least keep the ball on the pitch.
Failing rain delayed matches, if Lilac Hill is any indication of the resistance likely to be put up by the England team, Australia should easily take the Ashes series 5-0.
ACB Chairmanís XI Innings
C Rogers c Crawley b Jones 30 (34)
M North c Hussain b Hoggard 22 (31)
M Hussey c Hussain b Jones 69 (95)
R Campbell c Crawley b Giles 14 (22)
B Hogg b Giles 0 (5)
D Hookes c Key b Giles 10 (10)
K Harvey c Trescothick b Caddick 114 (88)
M Nicholson not out 13 (11)
C Thorp not out 0 (0)
Extras: 29 (b 1, lb 4, w 24)
Total: 301 (7 wickets, 50 overs in 206 mins)
FOW: 1-57 (North), 2-69 (Rogers), 3-100 (Campbell), 4-100 (Hogg), 5-126 (Hookes), 6-274 (Hussey), 7-299 (Harvey)
Hoggard 10-0-51-1 (4w)
Caddick 10-0-59-1 (3w)
Harmison 7-0-42-0 (16w)
Dawson 5-0-35-0 (1w)
M Trescothick c Hogg b M Clark 3 (8)
R Key c North b Wilson 68 (71)
M Butcher c Harvey b M Clark 0 (3)
N Hussain b Wilson 65 (61)
J Crawley c & b Hogg 26 (78)
A Stewart c Harvey b Hogg 35 (46)
J Foster c & b Thorp 15 (16)
A Giles b Hogg 1 (9)
S Jones c sub (D Griffiths) b Hogg 1 (3)
R Dawson not out 13 (20)
A Caddick c Hussey b Hogg 4 (11)
Extras: 12 (lb 4, w 8)
Total: 243 (all out, 48.5 overs in 202 mins)
FOW: 1-11 (Trescothick), 2-11 (Butcher), 3-136 (Hussain), 4-157 (Key), 5-182 (Crawley), 6-210 (Foster), 7-215 (Giles), 8-217 (Jones), 9-236 (Stewart), 10-243 (Caddick)
M Clark 10-0-53-2 (2w)
W Clark 5-0-45-0 (5w)
Nicholson 7-1-26-0 (1w)