England's Vincibles lose to PM's XI - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

England's Vincibles lose to PM's XI

By Brent Read 10/12/2002 07:07:24 PM Comments (0)

Surely it can't get any worse than this.

England's already embarrassing cricket tour of Australia plumbed new depths with another limp performance, losing by four wickets to the Prime Minister's XI at Manuka Oval in Canberra.

The tourists have fast become the butt of several jokes, with one wag branding them the 'Vincibles' because they are yet to win a game.

Another suggested the tiny Ashes urn rightfully remain in England because they were originally presented to the `Poms' for losing a Test they should have won.

In Canberra the tourists were thoroughly outplayed by a side boasting just two players with Test match experience - recently axed batsman Mark Waugh and one-Test wonder Simon Katich.

Only the display of unknown Academy youngsters Chris Read and Gareth Batty saved England from an even more comprehensive defeat.

England looked headed for disaster after slumping to 7-85 in the 25th

over but Batty (29) and Read (33 not out) added 61 to ensure the tourists posted a defendable total of 152.

Fast bowler James Kirtley (3-27 off six overs) gave England a sniff of victory with three early wickets, but Queensland all-rounder Lee Carseldine made 46, to go with his bowling return of 2-7, and Waugh chimed in with a boundary-laced 42 to ensure England stayed on the canvas.

Captain Marcus Trescothick, standing in for the injured Nasser Hussain, admitted he was mystified by the tourists' lack of form after their winless streak was stretched to 11 games and more than 50 days.

"The wicket wasn't that bad. We weren't up to it today. We weren't good enough," Trescothick said.

"I thought about it while we were batting, just trying to put my finger on it. We need a bit more self-belief maybe. There's got to be a reason why. We just need to assess it quick."

In three days in fact.

That's when the English side opens its one day campaign against Australia at the SCG, a game which shapes as mission impossible on current form.

"It's a bad loss for us and we didn't need it right now," Trescothick said.

"To be honest when we're in the change rooms and doing our preparation and warm-ups and going into games we feel very positive about what we're doing. We're just not delivering on the pitch when it matters. When the pressure is on...we're not producing the goods.

"That's the bottom line. It's just when we're on the pitch we're not up to it."

This loss will only add fuel to fire which has surrounded England's performances on this tour.

And injury concerns linger over all-rounder Andy Flintoff (13 and 0-32), who looked disinterested at times in the field, and fast bowler Andy Caddick (0-33), who resembled an 80-year-old man as he left the ground late in the day.

"We need him fit (Flintoff)," Trescothick said.

"He's finding it tough at the moment because he's carrying a little bit of an injury. We need to get him fit pretty quick and he needs to find some form from somewhere."

He is not the only one.

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