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Saturday, December 5, 1998 Published at 10:28 GMT

England hit by warm-up blow

Alec Stewart looks on as his side lose the second Test

England's hopes of a tough work-out in the run up to the third Test in Adelaide have been hit after Victoria left seven senior players out of their side.

The tourists - given two days off after losing the second Test in Perth inside three days - had hoped to face a full strength Victoria line-up for the weekend clash.

But captain Shane Warne has decided he is not fit enough to play and six other players have also pulled out to leave England facing second-string opposition.

Paul Reiffel (back), Darren Berry (thumb), David Saker (knee), Matthew Elliott (knee) and Ian Harvey (groin and ankle) all miss Saturday's four-day match while Warne and Damien Fleming have been rested.

Shaun Graf, Victoria's chairman of selectors, said: "The advice from the medical staff was not to play any of them in this game and some of them would even have been doubtful if it was a Shield game.

"Shane has a pretty strict programme mapped out for him and the thing he probably needs right now is plenty of bowling in the nets, not matches."

It leaves England, who may rest some members of their Test line-up, facing a reserve Victoria side as they attempt to assess the fitness of Ben Hollioake and Graham Thorpe.

Hollioake's only appearance on the tour was in the opening match against an ACB Chairman's XI at Lilac Hill over a month ago when he pulled his groin batting and failed to take the field for their innings.

Dean Headley and Robert Croft, both overlooked for the Perth defeat, may also come into consideration while Graeme Hick is also desperately in need of matches, having been initially flown out as cover for injuries.

Victoria team to face England (from): BJ Hodge (capt), Jl Arnberger, SL Flegler, SAJ Craig, GR Vimpani, JM Davidson, A Gilbert, MWH Inness, JR Bakker, M Mott, P Roach (wkt), BA Williams.

Taylor to meet England again

Australian captain Mark Taylor will lead the Prime Minister's XI against England in their one-day tour match at Canberra's Manuka Oval on December 17.

Taylor has been chosen to captain the XI, which includes several Australian players with hopes of selection for the World Cup, in the traditional match against the tourists which follows just two days after the scheduled finish of the third Test in Adelaide.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Ryan Campbell, who hammered a brilliant 146 off just 147 balls against England for Western Australia last month, is included alongside state team-mates Simon Katich and Matt Nicholson.

South Australia left-arm paceman Mark Harrity has also been selected while former Gloucestershire all-rounder Andrew Symonds, who played his first one-day international for Australia in Pakistan last month, is included in the line-up.

Prime Minister's XI v England: MA Taylor (NSW, capt), RJ Campbell (WA), BN Creevey (Queensland), L Hensen (ACT), MA Harrity (SA), BJ Hodge (Victoria), SM Katich (WA), DJ Marsh (Tasmania), M Nicholson (WA), CJ Richards (NSW), A Symonds (Queensland).

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