Texaco Trophy, first match


At Birmingham, May 23, 24. England won by one wicket. Toss: England. Atherton's diligence in making the only fifty of the match, after winning a close run-out decision when he was 13, and West Indies' profligacy in conceding 43 extras provided the bulk of England's winning total. Returning to the international arena after 21 months, Botham made good use of muggy weather; he had Richardson caught at cover with his second ball and, putting behind him the disappointment of having Richards dropped at slip, went on to record his best bowling figures in 99 limited-overs internationals. Only an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 52 in ten overs between Ambrose and Walsh took Richards's men past 127, their lowest one-day score against England.

However, the total looked healthier when Gooch was out to his first legitimate ball. Hick, making his international début on his 25th birthday, looked nervous, and struck just one boundary in 49 balls before becoming the first of Richardson's four catches. Bad light ended play prematurely when England needed 76 from 28 overs, but they seemed to be coasting on a sunny Friday morning until Botham tore a hamstring and was out next ball. Thereafter, there was little resistance until his Worcestershire team-mate, Illingworth, arrived to partner Atherton. Both played sensibly to see off the front-line bowlers, and Illingworth square cut Hooper for four to bring England victory with 5.2 overs to spare.

Man of the Match: M. A. Atherton. Attendance: 18,342; receipts £326,600.

Close of play: England 98-4 (27 overs) ( M. A. Atherton 35*, I. T. Botham 1*).

© John Wisden & Co