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Bizarre end to Key's Ashes tour

DESPITE England's triumph in the Fifth Test in Sydney, Rob Key's own Ashes tour ended on a sour note with Tuesday's six-wicket defeat to a Don Bradman XI.

Bearing in mind Key had been omitted from the VB Series and World Cup squads, the fact that the 23-year-old played in Bowral was strange in itself.

But the way acting skipper Ronnie Irani handled the Kent opener was utterly mystifying as a makeshift touring side lost with 21 balls to spare to a team that included 43-year-old left-arm swing bowler Mike Whitney.

Irani dumped Key down at eight in his batting order and then added insult to injury by sending him in with only four balls of the innings remaining. With little to gain and everything to lose, Key scored a single before being run out after just two deliveries.

England reached 279 for eight thanks to an excellent 127 from Owais Shah, but were unable to defend their total as Mark Waugh hit an unbeaten 108 to send England crashing to yet another defeat.

While the remainder of the one-day squad moved on to Hobart for the conclusion of the triangular series with Sri Lanka and Australia, Key said his farewells and was due to fly back to England last night.

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