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   Friday, 6 December, 2002, 10:55 GMT
Slater ton sinks England
Brett Lee celebrates the wicket of Nick Knight
Nick Knight fell to Brett Lee's new ball spell
One-day match, Sydney:
New South Wales 211-2 (42 overs) beat England 206 (49.2 ovs) by eight wickets

Former Test opener Michael Slater added to England's problems with a superb 115 to guide New South Wales to a comfortable win.

Slater made England pay for a dropped catch by Steve Harmison when he had made 23 by hitting a six and 13 fours.

He was not in the original XI named for the game but was given a late call-up when Mark Waugh suffered a groin strain and shared a second wicket stand of 134 with Michael Bevan.

The end came in a hurry as Steve Waugh thrashed three sixes in one over from Ronnie Irani to reach 24 not out from 12 balls, with Bevan finishing unbeaten on 54.

Bowlers expensive

Defeat for England was not a surprise given that a number of their players had not seen competitive action since September, and New South Wales have a stronger side than some international teams.

But there were few encouraging signs ahead of the VB Series against Australia and Sri Lanka apart from Irani's 81.

Andrew Flintoff was out for seven in his return to action and had figures of one for 55 from nine overs, while paceman Harmison conceded runs at a rate of seven per over.

Skipper Nasser Hussain chose to bat first after winning the toss but Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee were soon tormenting England again as Marcus Trescothick and Nick Knight went cheaply.

Hussain (34) and Owais Shah (24) offered support to Irani, but both gave return catches to Simon Katich's, whose slow left-arm chinamen brought him figures of three for 46.

Tail collapses

Slater acknowledges the crwod's applause
Slater celebrates on reaching three figures

Lee returned to remove Irani, heralding a slump which saw the last five wickets went down for 18 runs, leaving Ian Blackwell high and dry on 29 not out.

Slater made his intentions clear from the start of the home side's reply and England could ill afford Harmison's failure to hang onto a chance at mid-on.

Harmison atoned by having Corey Richards caught at leg slip for seven, but he was unable to contain Slater and Bevan, returning figures of one for 42 from six overs.

By the time Flintoff dismissed Slater with the help of Trescothick's diving catch at mid-wicket, the damage had already been done.

And after bowling six overs at a cost of 12 runs, Irani's next cost 20 as Waugh saw his side home with eight overs to spare.

New South Wales: Steve Waugh (captain), Corey Richards, Michael Slater, Michael Bevan, Michael Clarke, Simon Katich, Brad Haddin, Brett Lee, Stuart MacGill, Nathan Bracken, Glenn McGrath.

England: Marcus Trescothick, Nick Knight, Nasser Hussain (captain), Ronnie Irani, Owais Shah, Andrew Flintoff, Alec Stewart (Wkt), Ian Blackwell, Jeremy Snape, Andrew Caddick, Steve Harmison.

Umpires: N S D Fowler and S J A Taufel

 BBC Sport's Peter Baxter
"England have much work to do"
 England all-rounder Ronnie Irani
"I've taken a lot out this game"
 New South Wales batsman Michael Slater
"I've under-achieved for a few seasons"

Steve Waugh hits one of his three sixes for New South Wales.Thrashed again
Pictures from England's latest defeat
England take on Australia and Sri Lanka


Group matches

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