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Pat Murphy
End of day report from South Africa
 real 28k

Saturday, 20 November, 1999, 20:46 GMT
Flintoff gives England cheer
Butcher was dismissed as England collapsed

Andrew Flintoff had a productive bowl on a day with little else to cheer for the England tourists.

On any other day, England would have ended disappointed at slipping to 136 for seven added to the likely loss of seamer Dean Headley from the tour with a suspected stress fracture of the back.

But so crucial is all-rounder Flintoff to their plans for the opening Test at the Wanderers on Thursday that just to see him bowl came as welcome relief to the tourists' dressing room.

The match against the Combined Northerns/Gauteng XI goes into the final day delicately poised, but Flintoff was not expected to turn his arm over until Sunday.

Flintoff and Hamilton all-round hopes

What is more, in just 4.1 overs, Flintoff claimed three for six to dismiss the Combined XI for just 201 and earn England a 102-run first-innings lead.

The other all-round hope on this tour, Gavin Hamilton claimed three for 28 before causing another injury scare by twisting his left ankle.

Then came the batting collapse on a spin-friendly pitch which may yet see England come out winners four days before the first Test.

Openers Michael Atherton and Mark Butcher progressed relatively untroubled towards an unbroken 88-run partnership in 23 overs until Combined captain Clive Eksteen introduced his off-spin into the attack.

From the first delivery, the ball turned sharply and England collapsed by losing five wickets for nine runs in 12 overs.

Only another crucial partnership between Flintoff and Hamilton, this time with the bat, prevented England slipping into further trouble.

Atherton edges

The breakthrough came when Atherton stepped down the pitch in an attempt to drive the off-spinner back over his head.

He edged to Daryll Cullinan at slip, a small piece of revenge for Eksteen, who suffered with 52 overs without success four years ago during the Lancastrian's epic unbeaten 185.

Butcher and Nasser Hussain followed in successive overs before Walter Masimula dismissed Michael Vaughan and Alec Stewart.

Steve Elworthy then tempted Flintoff, who had hammered 16 off Eksteen in the previous over, to drive straight at Martin van Jaarsveld at cover.

Hamilton, fully recovered from his ankle problem, had also been caught at slip two balls previously.

It left England with a lead of 238 going into the last day, with three second innings wickets standing.


England first innings 303 (M.Vaughan 85, M.Atherton 81; D.Terbrugge 4-67)

Gauteng/Northerns Combined XI first innings (overnight 85-3)

S.Koenig lbw b Gough 0
A.Bacher c Stewart b Caddick 4
N.McKenzie lbw b Gough 62
D.Cullinan lbw b Hamilton 11
M.Van Jaarsveld c Atherton b Hamilton 13
N.Pothas c Stewart b Hamilton 29
S.Elworthy c Stewart b Flintoff 43
C.Eksteen c Stewart b Caddick 7
D.Terbrugge c Vaughan b Flintoff 7
G.Smith c Stewart b Flintoff 4
W.Masimula not out 2

Extras (lb-1 lb-5 w-1 nb-12) 19

Total 201

Fall of wickets: 1-0 2-37 3-73 4-94 5-130 6-139 7-158 8-191 9-195

Bowling: Gough 16-3-69-2 (1w), Caddick 25-7-57-2 (5nb), Tudor 8-2-35-0 (5nb), Hamilton 14-6-28-3 (2nb), Flintoff 4.1-0-6-3.

England second innings

M.Butcher c Van Jaarsveld b Eksteen 39
M.Atherton c Cullinan b Eksteen 39
N.Hussain c Cullinan b Eksteen 2
M.Vaughan c Pothas b Masimula 2
A.Stewart c Van Jaarsveld b Masimula 1
A.Flintoff c Van Jaarsveld b Elworthy 24
G.Hamilton c Cullinan b Elworthy 7
C.Adams not out 8
A.Tudor not out 1

Extras (b-4 lb-3 nb-6) 13

Total (for seven wickets) 136

Fall of wickets: 1-88 2-91 3-93 4-96 5-97 6-127 7-130

Bowling (to date): Elworthy 10-3-26-2, Smith 4-0-34-0 (4nb), Eksteen 20-8-37-3, Terbrugge 4-1-15-0 (1nb), Bacher 1-0-5-0, Masimula 10-5-12-2 (1nb)
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See also:
20 Nov 99 |  England on Tour
Headley tour could be over
19 Nov 99 |  Cricket
Plucky England hang around
17 Nov 99 |  England on Tour
Black player drafted for England match
Links to other Cricket stories are at the foot of the page.