Cricket: Eng­land tar­get un­beaten Aus­tralian tour af­ter draw

The Pak Banker - - International3 -

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

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