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Rediff.com  » Sports » England begin on a winning note

England begin on a winning note

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February 20, 2006 21:17 IST

Following two relaxing days on the field, England stamped their supremacy by knocking over the CCI President's XI for 75 runs in the second innings to win the three-day warm-up match by 238 runs at the Brabourne stadium in Mumbai on Monday.

The England pacers bowled with better intent and control in the second innings to end the CCI XI effort in 26.3 overs, after Marcus Trescothick's 88 had helped England to 265 in the second innings.

After the England innings came to an end at tea, it looked like a session of bowling practice for them but Simon Jones gave the tourists a perfect start by picking two quick wickets. Jones, who is coming back into the side after a long injury lay-off, shared the new ball this time and looked like he had shaken off the rust, as he had the ball swing appreciably off the Brabourne track.

The hosts, who had stood up well to the challenge of the tall and sturdy English bowlers in the first innings, collapsed like a house of cards the second time around. Only three of their batsmen, Hiken Shah (21), Sahil Kukreja (12) and Wilkin Mota (17) could get into the double figures.

The English pacemen were right on target and for once made the home team look like the club side, which they were. Stephen Harmison and Matthew Hoggard bowled themselves into a good rhythm ahead of the first-class game in Baroda, starting on Thursday.

England will mainly rely on their pacers to do the job against India in the Tests and gave the entire lot, including Liam Plunkett, a good run during the game.

Ian Blackwell and Monty Panesar, the two left-arm spinners, also took two wickets each to further the competition in the final eleven for Tests.

Blackwell, who grabbed four wickets in the first innings, may just nudge ahead of the Sikh because of his batting abilities.

After the England middle order failed to make most of a sunny day on a friendly wicket, Blackwell stepped in with an entertaining 59, which included six fours and four sixes.

Coach Duncan Fletcher said he was pleased with the way the team's preparations had gone so far and the victory was a bonus since that was not what the visitors had aimed for in the tour opener.

"Very satisfying. Honestly, we did not go into the match looking for a win. The approach to the warm up game was give the batters and bowlers as much time as possible at the crease," Fletcher said after the match.

Trescothick, having stayed back at the hotel on the first day due to viral infection, hit form with an innings that lasted around three hours during when he faced 128 balls and hit 11 fours and two sixes.

For CCI XI, it were the spinners Aniket Redkar (3 for 64) and Hitshu Bachani (2 for 29), who did most of the damage. While the spinners were taken for a few runs, the English batsmen were still beaten regularly, which would have the Indian spinners licking their lips in anticipation.

Scorecard

England XI 1st innings 299

CCI President's XI 1st innings 251

England XI 2nd innings
M Trescothick c Bachani b Redkar 88
A Strauss c Indulkar b Abid Nabi 0
K Pietersen run out (Ansari) 10
M Vaughan c Indulkar b Waingankar 13
A Flintoff c Samant b Ansari 5
G Jones st Samant b Redkar 30
I Blackwell c Mota b Bachani 59
I Bell c Uthappa b Kulkarni 15
S Udal lbw b Redkar 0
L Plunkett c Mota b Bachani 26
S Harmison not out 1
Extras (b 4, lb 8, w 3, nb 3) 18
Total (all out, 61.5 overs, 277 mins) 265

Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-36, 3-67, 4-79, 5-147, 6-162, 7-194, 8-199, 9-264, 10-265

Bowling: Verma 10 2 25 0 (1nb, 1w), Abid Nabi 6 2 25 1, Redkar 13 3 64 3 (1w), Waingankar 7 2 26 1 (2nb), Ansari 3 0 21 1, Bachani 6.5 0 29 2, Hazare 8 0 30 0 (1w), Kulkarni 8 2 33 1

CCI President's XI 2nd innings (target: 314 runs)
S Kukreja c G Jones b Flintoff 12
R Uthappa lbw b S Jones 4
V Indulkar c Flintoff b S Jones 0
H Shah b Plunkett 21
H Shende c Trescothick b Panesar 8
W Mota c G Jones b Harmison 17
V Samant c Udal b Panesar 6
A Redkar not out 4
K Waingankar c G Jones b Harmison 0
Abid Nabi c Trescothick b Blackwell 0
S Hazare c Udal b Blackwell 0
Extras (lb 1, nb 2) 3
Total (all out, 26.2 overs, 128 mins) 75

Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-6, 3-35, 4-39, 5-59, 6-67, 7-71, 8-71, 9-75, 10-75

Bowling: Hoggard 4 1 12 0, S Jones 5 0 9 2 (1nb), Flintoff 5 2 14 1 (1nb), Plunkett 3 0 21 1, Panesar 4 0 15 2, Harmison 3 2 3 2, Blackwell 1.2 1 0 2, Udal 1 1 0 0

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