Jaques gives England more lead-up misery
New South Wales 5 for 325 (Jaques 107, Katich 68, Clarke 50) v England XI
Phil Jaques collected back-to-back centuries as New South Wales dominated the opening day of the tour game against England at the SCG and added to their problems ahead of the first Test. While Jaques heaped further pressure on Australia's incumbent openers with his second hundred in three days, the tourists also felt the heat in another below-par performance as New South Wales posted 5 for 325.
Simon Katich and Michael Clarke, who is pushing Shane Watson and Andrew Symonds for the No. 6 spot at Brisbane on November 23, joined Jaques in a convincing set of performances. Having scored 112 for the Prime Minister's XI on Friday, Jaques reached 107 before he was dismissed by Ashley Giles, who was the only multiple wicket-taker with 2 for 46.
Jaques reached his fifty from 79 balls and his century from 141 deliveries in an innings of 11 fours and two sixes, including a hooked effort off James Anderson. Giles, who has suffered a long-term hip injury, gave England a much-needed boost when he removed both Jaques and Katich (68) in a seven-over spell before tea, but they were his only successes.
In the final session Monty Panesar collected Clarke for 50 and Anderson removed Aaron O'Brien, with Trescothick making up for his earlier miss of Katich on 14 by collecting the two catches. Harmison did not play in the first game and improved on a wayward opening to dismiss Ed Cowan for 26 when the batsman shouldered arms. However, he went for more than five runs an over and England will be hoping he finds form before the first Test.
Andrew Flintoff caused moments of trouble for the left-handed Katich and Jaques, but England's lack of penetration meant that unless they follow-on the batsmen will probably have only one innings to fine tune before the final lead-up game against South Australia from Friday. Both teams are using 14 players for this three-day game but only 11 will bat.