July 8, 2000

Debutant Trescothick gives England cracking start

Alistair Brown
Marcus Trescothick
Photo © CricInfo

NatWest Series, The Oval, 31.4 overs: England 150 for three (Maynard 3)

The left-handed debutant Trescothick played a most impressive innings of 79 as England ran to 150 for three at a scoring rate of almost five an over against Zimbabwe in their NatWest Series match against Zimbabwe at The Oval.

He began in partnership with Stewart, recording the first boundary of the innings when he picked up a short ball from Johnson high over midwicket, almost for six. His no-nonsense firm driving, especially on the off side, and more delicate glances radiated confident and positive play right from the start. He lost Stewart at 30, trapped palpably lbw by the same bowler for 12, trying to drive a very straight ball slightly across the line.

NatWest Series

England's fifty came up in the 13th over, but almost immediately the rain arrived, quite heavily. The players left the field with England 52 for one (Trescothick 31, Hick 7). To modify the old saying, it was nice weather for Duckworth-Lewis, but in the event no overs were lost for this interruption.

Narrow Run-out Escape

Play recommenced at 12.20, the pitch having got slightly damp before the covers could be applied. Hick greeted Brent, replacing Strang, with a powerful back-foot drive to the cover boundary, while Trescothick hit him high over his head in his next over for six. Trescothick had a narrow escape just after the hundred came up in the 23rd over; backing up too far as Hick played into the covers, he was stranded in mid-pitch, only for the fielder to panic and return the ball far too high. Soon afterwards he turned Brent on the leg side to record a well-earned fifty off 73 balls.

Immediately afterwards he had another slice of luck, a run-out appeal going for a quick single being rejected by umpire Shepherd without referral to the third umpire - but the replay appeared to show a dismissal by the narrowest of margins. The century partnership came up off only 108 balls, Hick reached his fifty off 57 balls, and the Zimbabwean fielding, hitherto excellent, began to slide once or twice. But then Hick, still on 50, tried to turn Paul Strang to leg, only to give Grant Flower a catch at extra cover off the leading edge. England were 136 for two.

Soon afterwards Trescocthick's fine innings came to an end as he swung Paul Strang high to the deep square leg boundary for Campbell to take the catch. It was the signal for more rain to arrive, and again the players were forced to leave the field.