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June 4, 2003

Watkins keeps tabs on future opposition

From:, UK - Jun 4, 2003

By Christopher Lyles (Filed: 04/06/2003)

In circumstances that have a familiar resonance, Australia's Test captain is warming up nicely against English bowlers in preparation for three Test matches and seven one-day internationals to be played against the old enemy Down Under early next year.

Only this time it is not Steve Waugh but 20-year-old Andrew Watkins, captain of Australia's deaf team and overseas player for Gosport, of Southern Premier League Division Two. However, after scoring 110 against Easton and Martyr Worthy a fortnight ago, Watkins had to make do with 31 at the weekend as newly promoted Gosport lost to Lymington by 64 runs.

"I fancied playing some cricket in England to see what it is like over here. Hopefully adjusting to the bowling will help me when we play England next January," said Watkins, who will be in charge of an Australia side that are, somewhat predictably, world champions.

Another Australian, Jason Coleman, captain of East Anglian Premier League side Cambridge Granta, compiled a century against Fakenham as an emergency opener after three of his colleagues had been delayed by traffic.

"I didn't have much of a choice," admitted Coleman, whose 103 in a total of 262 for seven paved the way for a 136-run victory, Granta's first of the season.

Finedon Dolben, seeking a fifth successive top division title, maintained their grip at the top of the Northamptonshire League after beating struggling Northampton Saints by 55 runs with 15 balls to spare. Former Lancashire player Tim Roberts crashed 160 off 92 balls for the victors before taking four for 37.

©Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2003.