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CRICKET: England saved by smasher Solanki.

VIKRAM SOLANKI saved England from potential ICC Champions Trophy disaster against minnows Zimbabwe at Edgbaston.

Worcestershire's Solanki hit 62 after the Zimbabweans' attack overcame nerves to reduce the hosts to 123 for four on day one of the 15-day cricket tournament.

But the 28-year-old lost his composure shortly after registering a 61-ball half-century.

Tatenda Taibu won the toss and the opposition accounted for Marcus Trescothick, Michael Vaughan, Andrew Strauss and Andrew Flintoff in short order.

Solanki had to repair the situation with Paul Collingwood, who resumes alongside Geraint Jones today with England 198 for five.

Solanki said: 'I was disappointed because I paid for not sticking to my plan for one ball.'

New Zealand's total of 347 helped them to a 210-run victory over the USA - the widest winning margin in Champions Trophy history.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 11, 2004
Words:134
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