July 1, 2003

Fleming gets into gear in first four-day game for Yorkshire

Four-day cricket in England finally allowed Stephen Fleming to show his true colours to the Yorkshire faithful.

After a string of low scores in the Twenty20 competition since his arrival Fleming, the New Zealand captain, celebrated his first county appearance by scoring 98 during a first innings opening partnership of 165 with Matthew Wood. They were unbeaten in the second innings, with Fleming scoring 40, in the 10-wicket win over Somerset at Taunton.

Chris Cairns returned to action after his broken finger for Nottinghamshire and scored five and 41 not out, off 40 balls, in the away draw with Leicestershire. He is still to bowl and is sitting on 599 first-class wickets.

Craig Spearman stuck the fifth-equal highest score in Twenty20 cricket when inning 88 off 39 balls in the 53-run win over Glamorgan and the side are playing the semi-final of the event against Surrey on July 19. In Gloucestershire's latest county game he scored four and 20 against Hampshire.

Craig McMillan had a good chance to feel ball on the middle of his bat during an unbeaten 185, off 106 balls for the Lashings World XI in their game against the Cambridge University XI at the Mote ground in Maidstone. McMillan his 14 fours and 14 sixes as Lashings scored 323-5 in their 40 overs.

In a change of scene, literally, the waterfront of Blug Flag Beach in the East Neuk of Fife in Scotland on the preceding Sunday, McMillan helped Lashings defend a total of 125 by bowling the last over when 15 were needed for victory, and conceding only four runs.

Around the leagues in England, Aaron Barnes has been among the runs for Colwyn Bay in the first division of the Liverpool and District Cricket Competition. He hit 112 not out against St Helens to help his side to a five-wicket win and a week later his 75 in an 80-run loss to Haydock.

James Marshall hit 65 not out for Formby in a nine-wicket win over Caldy in the same league.

In the ECB Premier League section of the same league, Warren McSkimming took three for 36 in his Lytham side's eight wicket win over Northern while Brendon Donkers, playing for Leigh against Wallasey scored 19 and took five for 34 to help his side to a 45-run win.

In the Lancashire League, Rob Nicol continues to struggle with the last-placed Rishton team. His two most recent matches he scored one and took two for 74 against Bacup where the side lost on run rate, then scored a duck and took three for 101 against Lowerhouse in a 116-run loss.

Wellington's Matthew Bell has had half-centuries in his last two innings for Esher. He scored 50 in a winning draw against Sutton and 54 not out in a 10-wicket win over Banstead.

In the East Anglia League, Michael Parlane has been playing for Swardeston which is seventh in the 10-team competition. They have lost their last three matches with Parlane scoring 53 and taking one for 63 against Cambridge Granta, a duck against Clacton and 10 and none for 22 against Fakenham.

Performances by New Zealanders in the Dutch League have been mixed. In the most recent games, Greg Todd enjoyed a superbly-defensive return for his bowling in an eight-wicket win over Quick Haag by Hermes DVS. He scored six, but bowled his 10 overs to finish with three for five.

Tama Canning took four for 25 for VOC against HBS, but his side lost by one wicket. David Kelly, playing for the Rood en Wit club, hit 56 and three for 40 from seven overs, but it wasn't enough to stop a loss by 53 runs to Bijlmer.