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July 29, 2002

Hutton's heroics only delay win for Rest of World

LORD’S (England won toss): Rest of the World beat England by six wickets

DESPITE an heroic performance by Len Hutton, the Rest of the World emerged victorious in the opening match of the CMJ/Wisden Test series, fittingly played at the home of cricket. Although Hutton carried his bat through England’s first innings and was last out in the second, scoring a century both times, he lacked sufficient support.

Peter May and Colin Cowdrey both contributed excellent knocks, but England were left to rue poor late-order batting in both innings: another 50 runs would have tested the World XI severely on a wearing pitch. It was Adam Gilchrist’s typically hard-hit 95 not out in the first innings, which helped to stretch the World XI’s lead to 148, that ultimately proved crucial.

May won the toss and decided to bat, even though the prospect of facing Malcolm Marshall and Dennis Lillee with the new ball was a daunting one. Both Graham Gooch and Ted Dexter perished to catches in the outfield but then Hutton and May settled in and put on 153 before May chipped one master spinner, Muttiah Muralitharan, to another, Shane Warne.

At 256 for four England seemed on top, but then Warne had Ian Botham caught behind to start a collapse in which the last six wickets disappeared for 36. Marshall, with the second new ball, was too much for the tail and finished with five for 46. He also rapped Brian Statham on the glove, which meant that Statham missed the start of the World XI’s innings and could not immediately resume his famous new-ball partnership with Fred Trueman.

Hutton remained defiant and finished 129 not out. He hit 11 fours in a display reminiscent of his innings at the Oval in 1950, against West Indies, and in Adelaide the winter after, when he also carried his bat.

The World XI were hard pressed to post a matchwinning total as England made regular inroads. The best batting came from the modern masters, Brian Lara (75) and Sachin Tendulkar (59), who put on 104 after Viv Richards had bludgeoned 85, with 12 fours and a towering six off his old mate, Botham. Honours were roughly even until Gilchrist’s onslaught, which included eight fours and three sixes. Statham and Derek Underwood, with four wickets apiece, were the pick of the bowlers.

Hutton dropped anchor once more when England resumed, and only three wickets were lost clearing the arrears. For long periods the spin twins whirred in — Muralitharan with his back to the pavilion, and Warne from the Nursery End.

What England really needed was a repeat of the May-Cowdrey heroics of Edgbaston 1957, when they blunted the threat of Sonny Ramadhin, but Marshall had May caught at slip and Warne eventually accounted for Cowdrey for an elegant 63.

Hutton and Cowdrey had put on 135, but now the spinners took control. Botham, Underwood and Trueman all fell without scoring, and Warne dismissed Alan Knott and Jim Laker cheaply. Statham helped Hutton to add 34 for the last wicket, extending the overall lead to 154 before the gallant Hutton was last out for 136, made from 393 balls. He stroked 12 fours and, late on, struck a six. In all he batted for more than 16 hours.

Trueman and Statham disposed of Barry and Viv Richards and when Lara and Tendulkar also fell England had a sniff of a famous victory. But Sunil Gavaskar and Garry Sobers soon dashed these hopes and took their side home by six wickets.

As the teams moved on to Barbados the organisers announced a change to the schedule. Because of travel difficulties the fourth Test will now be played in Sydney and the fifth at Eden Gardens, Calcutta.

Computer simulation written by Ananth Narayanan for http://www.wisden.com/

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  ALSO IN THIS SECTION
  Hutton's heroics only delay win for Rest of World

  Graphic: CMJ/Wisden Test Series Lord's Scorecards

  Computers open the window to cricket's world of make-believe

  Lara and Tendulkar on higher plane

  Graphic: the teams so far

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