August 18, 2000

White warms the cockles of countrymen

Staff and agencies

Craig White was the toast of the England side after claiming his first five wicket haul in Test cricket to send West Indies plunging to 172. The 30-year-old Yorkshireman grabbed 5/57 including the prize wickets of Wavell Hinds, Brian Lara and Jimmy Adams in an inspired 17-ball burst. Hinds was caught behind by keeper Alec Stewart, Lara leg before without offering a shot and Adams played on to his stumps.

White was bowling for the first time in a Test match on his home ground of Headingley. "It was very special," he said. "To get my first five wicket haul at Headingley was a dream come true although I probably bowled worse than I did at Old Trafford and ended up with five wickets."

White was particularly grateful to the England management for their continued faith in his abilities ever since he was blooded six years ago against New Zealand. It was a remarkable turnaround for him after having fallen unconscious near his home in Scarborough just over two months ago in a still unexplained incident which threatened to affect his career. ``Three months ago I was contemplating life without cricket and to come out in a Test and take five wickets for your country is incredible", said White.

The England all rounder had to share the limelight with Antiguan veteran Curtly Ambrose who became the fifth man to gatecrash into the exclusive 400 wicket club as England slumped to 105/5. Ambrose, who has announced his intention to retire at the end of the current series, removed both openers, Marcus Trescothick and Mike Atherton in successive overs.