England fightback against NSW
Following a difficult first day in the field, England have bit back via some much needed batting practice against their New South Wales opponents on the second day of their tour match at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The English were heartened by the efforts of Kevin Pieterson and captain Andrew Flintoff with the willow, whilst top order talents Andrew Strauss and Alistair Cook chalked up half centuries.
The Blues began the days play in the drivers seat at 5-325, with protégés Daniel Smith and Moises Henriques looking set at the crease. They were soon sent packing, however, with pace trio Steve Harmison, James Anderson and Matthew Hoggard combining to not only end the stints of Smith (45) and Henriques (29), but docked the tail with relative ease, the lanky Harmison rewarded for his toil with figures of 3-95 from 20 overs, while Anderson and Hoggard, after a lean first day, returned to some of their better form.
In pursuit of 355, the tourists stumbled early when the sheer speed of Australian paceman Brett Lee got the better of opener Marcus Trescothick, who edged onto his timber, departing for eight.
Cook then joined Strauss to steady the English ship, seeing off the luminaries of Glenn McGrath, Stuart Clark, Nathan Bracken and Lee to guide the total up to 95 when Clark pounced, snaring Strauss with a return catch, sending the vice-captain on his way for a half ton.
Ian Bell, who struggled against the Australians throughout the 2005 Ashes Series, got his tour off on the wrong foot when he was caught behind off Clark with just his second ball, Clark’s nagging accuracy causing a minor tremor in the English camp.
Pieterson, though, as he has a habit of doing against the Australians, held the fort with Cook to see the side up to the 166 run mark when the latter’s accomplished dig of 59 was cut short when McGrath picked up the first of what will be, one assumes, many English wickets this summer, trapping the impressive Essex batsman LBW.
This would be the final wicket to fall for the day, Pieterson and the skipper Flintoff looking the part on their way to 80 and 48 respectively at the close of play.
The visitors will no doubt look to bat out most of the third and final day in their final serious hit out before the main game kicks off in earnest, when they take on the Australians in the fight for the Ashes on Thursday week.
New South Wales - first innings:
P JAQUES c Harmison b Giles 107
E COWAN b Harmison 26
S KATICH c Pietersen b Giles 68
M CLARKE c Trescothick b Panesar 50
A O'BRIEN c Trescothick b Anderson 6
D SMITH c Jones b Harmison 45
M HENRIQUES lbw b Harmison 29
N HAURITZ c Giles b Hoggard 5
B CASSON not out 3
N BRACKEN c Strauss b Anderson 8
Extras (1lb, 4nb, 3wd) 8
Did Not Bat: B LEE, S CLARK, S MacGILL, G McGRATH.
Total: 9 wts for 353 dec.
Fall: 1-38, 2-193, 3-216, 4-224, 5-289, 6-334, 7-343, 8-343, 9-355.
Bowling: M Hoggard 17-5-58-1, S Harmison 20-1-95-3 (1nb, 3wd), J Anderson 15.2-3-45-2, A Flintoff 15-4-52-0 (3nb), M Panesar 19-2-58-1, A Giles 15-3-46-2
Batting time: - minutes. Overs: 101.2
England - first innings:
M TRESCOTHICK b Lee 8
A STRAUSS c & b Clark 50
A COOK lbw b McGrath 59
I BELL c Smith b Clark 0
K PIETERSEN not out 80
A FLINTOFF not out 48
Extras (3lb, 7nb, 1wd) 12
Yet to Bat: P COLLINGWOOD, G JONES, A GILES, M HOGGARD, S HARMISON, J ANDERSON, S MAHMOOD, M PANESAR. (only five of these players can bat)
Total: 4 wts for 256
Fall: 1-9, 2-95, 3-95, 4-166.
Bowling: G McGrath 11-1-41-1, B Lee 10-1-54-1 (5nb), S Clark 11-0-34-2 (1nb, 1w), N Bracken 10-1-39-0, MC Henriques 3-0-24-0, B Casson 11-1-50-0, N Hauritz 3-1-11-0
Batting time: - minutes. Overs: 59
Toss: New South Wales
Umpires: R Goodger and D Orchard.
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground
Summary: Day Two
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