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Natwest Triangular Series

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One day matches between Australia, Pakistan and England.

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      26.03.2002 00:01
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      Off all the recent England middle order collapses, this one was most definitely forgivable as each batsman slowly got the news off the terrible death of young Ben Holioake. The first to get the news in the dressing room had to leave for the square to tell the player sat the other end the horrific news. The Surrey guys in Butcher and Thorpe were right in the thick of it setting England on the way to a big score until the news broke and England slumped from 212-4 to 280 all out. I had a mate at middle school that I sat next to who was wiped out in a car crash. You don?t really understand death at eight and nine but an empty chair is a very strange feeling everyday. Ben was a big part of the one day and Surrey set up and you cant help but feel for the whole team. In the context of the game though, the foreshortened innings may be the catalyst of an unlikely England victory that would be no better a tribute to the young Surrey and England all rounder. Captain Hussiens gutsy 66 with Butchers deflecting 47 were the guts of the effort on a fair track with New Zealand less constrained in their closing tally of one for seventy. Day Two and the three lions on the chest s proud as ever, Andy Caddick once again took a six for, ripping through the Kiwi bats in double time, restricting them to just over two hundred on a nearer three hundred top. England approached the crease second time around in far more resilient form as the boards rattled from Trescothicks mighty blade fitting to the opposition. At 178-2 and a 250 plus lead, England can let rip on the final day of this rain and gloom effected test to leave themselves 60 overs to have a dart on a much greener southern hemisphere wicket than normal. The final day started well with England pressing on to set NZ a big score in just enough over s to knock them over. Butcher and Trescothick got the ball rolling with Freddie Flintoff blazing a mad 50 of 33 balls and seven
      ty-five out of 56. This was the brute force required as we set them 350 odd to win of 88 overs. But a couple of early wickets fromHoggard and a hundred partnership couldn?t tease them into a chase as the draw was batted out. If theres any good news to take from this test, is that we cant lose the series and should be able to win it in Auckland with yet another gutsy display. To put in perspective in the loss of Holioake, it?s the same as the England football losing a fringe player like Gareth Southgate or Darren Anderton. The players have been given special discompensation to attend the young all rounders funeral in Perth this week as the terrible week comes to an end.

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