Life­less Waca track not a good test for Eng­land bowlers

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

ENG­LAND’S top- or­der bats­men did what their bowlers couldn’t and played their way into form in the open­ing match of their Ashes tour against the Western Aus­tralia Chair­man’s XI yes­ter­day.

At stumps on the sec­ond day, Eng­land were 270 for two on a life­less WACA pitch in re­ply to the home team’s 451 for five de­clared.

Jonathan Trott, who sur­vived a con­fi­dent lbw ap­peal early in his in­nings, was on 64, while Ian Bell was un­beaten on 77 as the pair spent valu­able time in the mid­dle ahead of the first Ashes Test at the Gabba start­ing on Novem­ber 21.

Opener Joe Root was the only Eng­land bats­man who failed to cash in and he be­came the only player dis­missed for un­der 50 in the three-day match when he was trapped lbw for 36.

Root av­er­aged 37.7 with the bat dur­ing Eng­land’s 3-0 Ashes tri­umph ear­lier this year.

Fel­low opener Michael Car­berry made 78 against an impo- tent bowl­ing at­tack, putting his hand up for an open­ing berth amid cap­tain Alas­tair Cook’s back prob­lems, and said it had been a pro­duc­tive day.

“I spent good time in the mid­dle, which I think most of the bat­ters have man­aged to do lead­ing into the next few games and the first Test,” he said.

Car­berry, who played one Test in 2010 and worked as an elec­tri­cian dur­ing the past English win­ter, ad­mit­ted he was sur­prised to be named in the squad, but is con­fi­dent he can do the job if he gets a sec­ond chance at Test level, whether it be as an opener or down the or­der.

“I don’t see my­self as a re­serve any­thing,” he said.

“I have come out with the men­tal­ity to play, all I can try and do is knock on the door.

“I have a lot of first-class ex­pe­ri­ence and I can take that into games with me.”

Look­ing in good touch, Bell had been at the crease for 154 min­utes and faced 137 balls, hit- ting 11 fours and two sixes, while Trott had faced 135 balls, spiced with eight bound­aries.

Bell, in par­tic­u­lar, shapes as a key player in the up­com­ing Test se­ries, af­ter top­ping the ag­gre­gates in the se­ries in Eng­land ear­lier this year, with 562 runs at 62.44.

The WA bowl­ing at­tack was weak­ened by a knee in­jury to pace­man Burt Cock­ley, who went off for scans af­ter break­ing down mid­way through his third over.

While Bell and Trott took the op­por­tu­nity to ac­cli­ma­tise to the con­di­tions, Eng­land’s fringe fast bowlers were dis­ap­point­ing, strug­gling against a sec­ond-string state team.

Test hope­fuls Steven Finn (1-123), Boyd Rankin (1-92) and Chris Trem­lett (0-88) claimed just two wick­ets be­tween them, with the Eng­land tourists also putting down three catches.

Ev­ery WA bats­man reached 50 apart from Tom Trif­fitt, who was un­beaten on 18. – Sa­paAFP

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