Cricket: England target unbeaten Australian tour after draw
MELBOURNE: Wicketkeeper Matt Prior said England were aiming to go through their Australian tour unbeaten after the tourists ground out a draw in their three-day match with Victoria on Sunday.
Set 311 runs to win on the final day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, England were 211 for six off 54 overs when the match was called off as a draw with an hour of scheduled play remaining.
England shut up shop after tea, scoring only 52 runs in 21 overs with Prior finishing unbeaten on 102 and skipper Andrew Strauss on 22 from 65 balls.
The tourists go into the third Ashes Test starting in Perth on Thursday holding a 10 lead in the five-match series and can retain the urn with a win at the WACA Ground.
Four years ago England were thrashed 5-0 on their Australian Ashes tour, but this time they are undefeated in two Tests and four other firstclass games as they set their sights on an unbeaten trip Down Under.
Prior made no apologies for England's dour tactics in the closing overs against Victoria, saying the side were keen to protect their unbeaten run.
"Why would you carry on playing your shots and potentially risk losing a game? We didn't want to do that," he said.
"We were hell-bent that we were going to get through the day.
"Unfortunately it was pretty boring cricket for everyone to watch. Sometimes it's got to be done.
"If we carry on playing the brand of cricket we have been, there's certainly no reason why we can't go through unbeaten."
England were reduced to 149 for six before Prior and Strauss restored the innings with an unbeaten 62-run stand.
Clint McKay led the Victorian bowling with 4-68 from 17 overs. -Ap