|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
England thrashed in Ashes tour opener
November 10, 2006 13:19 IST
Last Updated: November 10, 2006 15:36 IST
England's prospects of retaining the Ashes suffered an early jolt on Friday when they crashed to an embarrassing 166-run loss to the Australian Prime Minister's XI.
The PM's XI, a scratch team made up of fringe Test players, demolished England's wayward bowlers to pile on 347 for five from their 50 overs with opener Phil Jaques blasting a century.
England replied with just 181 with the innings coming to an abrupt end in the 39th over. Only Andrew Strauss (67) and Paul Collingwood (35) made meaningful contributions with the bat.
While Friday's opening tour match was little more than a warm-up for the first Test starting in Brisbane, there were a number of worrying signs for the English with only two more practice games before the Ashes.
Their bowling was wayward and their fielding sloppy while their top-order batsmen wasted the chance for some much needed practice on a pitch that was tailor-made for heavy scoring.
But there were some encouraging signs. Andrew Flintoff looked sharp in his return from injury and was able to bowl his full complement of 10 overs while Ashley Giles picked up a wicket in his first over of his comeback.
Flintoff, claiming an early breakthrough when he dismissed Tim Paine before an untidy last over that cost 16 runs, saw his final figures blow out to 1-55 off 10 overs.
He failed to make any impression with the bat, scoring just one run before he was clean bowled by Shaun Tait.
England's bowlers were all heavily punished with Sajid Mahmood conceding 97 from his nine overs and Giles going for 53 off eight.
Jaques was the main benefactor, smashing 112 off 110 balls to get the innings off to a flying start before Shaun Marsh, the son of former Test batsman Geoff, cracked an unbeaten 78 at the end to ensure his team posted an imposing total.
England's chances of winning the match disappeared almost as soon as their innings started with Marcus Trescothick falling to Tait for one in the first over then Alastair Cook (four), Kevin Pietersen (seven) and Flintoff (one) all departing cheaply.
England's next match is a three-day game against New South Wales in Sydney starting on Sunday.
Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-75, 3-162, 4-214, 5-292
Did not bat: B.Dorey, A.Ritchard, S.Tait, B.Hilfenhaus
Bowling: Anderson 10-1-65-1 (w-2), Flintoff 10-0-55-1 (w-2), S Mahmood 9-0-97-1 (w-4 nb-6), Panesar 3-0-17-0, Giles 8-0-53-1 (w-2), Collingwood 10-0-58-1
Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-24, 3-107, 4-119, 5-123, 6-124, 7-146, 8-177, 9-178, 10-181
Bowling: Tait 8-2-21-3 (w-3 nb-1), Hilfenhaus 8-1-49-2 (w-3 nb-3), Dorey 5-0-27-0, Ritchard 4.4-0-24-2, White 7-0-32-2 (w-3), Voges 2-0-13-0, Cosgrove 4-0-12-0
Result: PM's XI won by 166 runs