July 9, 2000

Trescothick shows ability, temperament, maturity, but the weather reigns at Lord's

NatWest Series

This was a match from which two points would have mattered so much to either side. With Zimbabwe well in the lead of the table after their two victories, England and West Indies lag behind having shared the two points from this rain-abondaned game.

Having been put in to bat in overcast conditions, nothing much positive emerged from the 43.5 overs that England faced, losing eight wickets for 158.

Apart from an innings of 42 from Graham Thorpe, which would have done a great deal of good to his confidence after making just twelve the previous day on his return to international cricket, the only encouraging aspect from England's point of view, was the batting potential shown by Marcus Trescothick.

Following his excellent innings of 79 on Saturday on his international debut, he produced another fine knock and was unfortunate to miss a second successive half-century by just one run.

He appears to have the ability, temperament and maturity and may well have answered England's call for a regular, reliable opening batsman. His partnership of 52 with Thorpe was the only one of any substance in the England innings and the stroke-play of both batsmen was most entertaining.

The only change in the England side from the team that went down to Zimbabwe on Saturday was Craig White for Andy Flintoff who will be seeing a specialist for his back injury which is causing concern to England as it seems to have become a recurring problem.

Chris Evans - "this series is fantastic"

With rain bringing a premature end to the day's play, it was interesting talking to the television and radio personality, Chris Evans who is a keen cricket fan and was visiting Lord's hoping to enjoy a day's cricket.

He said:" I played as a boy a lot but I had never been to an international match until I got invited here to Lord's on the Friday we got Windies out for 54 but I have always watched cricket on television.

"What I see in this one-day series is fantastic. I see there is a lot going on than just the cricket. To get the party atmosphere going with the innovations is just great especially if it's a nice sunny day and you are having jingles for wickets falling, boundaries, fifties and so on, it gives it a carnival atmosphere."

"Cricket is a resplendent game"

He added: " I think it is fantastic that this series is sponsored and organised in the way it is. If you can get the interest of the younger people, the potential heroes of the future, then you are getting the spectators and the sport benefits and so do the sponsors. This is what helps to improve the young players and more and more come into the game."

Touching on the scandal that has engulfed cricket, he said:" My Dad was a bookie so I understand what has happened just as I understand horse-racing so well. But cricket is a resplendent game, played in the finest traditions yet it seems to be the most easy to corrupt which is such a shame.

" Cricket is a sport that is divided round the world and run by different boards and because of that it is difficult to control corruption. It is not like,say, motor racing which is controlled centrally. Cricket has to sort itself out and we hope with the inquires, it is all cleaned up."

After the rain-abandoned game at Lord's, the attention shifts to Canterbury for Tuesday's match between West Indies and Zimbabwe.