England almost failed to take a wicket on the last day of their third and final warm up match against the Cricket Australia XI. Despite the fact that England’s top order found some form, they failed to beat an inexperienced and, on paper, much weaker side. This will certainly not inspire confidence ahead of the first test starting on Thursday.
On a pitch which was clearly in the favour of the batsmen, Mark Stoneman and Dawid Malan hit England’s first three figure scores of the tour. Chris Woakes took six wickets on day one, with Stuart Broad and Craig Overton picking up a couple each in what looked like a game England were going to run away with. Mark Stoneman fell for 111 and Dawid Malan was run out for 109 as England accumulated lead of 265 after both sides first innings. Alistair Cook hit 70 and Joe Root fell just short of a century as England found themselves in a phenomenal position at the end of day three. However, 18 year old Jason Sangha and 22 year old Matthew Short put together a stunning partnership of 263 on the final day to deny England victory. Mason Crane took the wicket of Sangha before a draw was agreed.
With the first test starting in just five days time England will have to do something special if they are to cause a shock and avoid defeat against the mighty Aussies. However, some people believe that the Australian selectors could have made a couple of crucial mistakes when selecting the Australian squad. Despite this, England’s moral is so low at this moment in time, I struggle to see them even challenging Australia in the first test.
By Resident Writer Sam