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December 8, 2006
CA Chairman's XI 3 for 260 (Ronchi 89, Voges 71, North 58*) beat England XI 8 for 259 (Stewart 69, Bopara 53) by 7 wickets
Luke Ronchi blasted 89 from 49 balls and Adam Voges impressed with 71 after his surprise Test call-up as the Cricket Australia Chairman's XI easily accounted for the England XI at Lilac Hill in Perth. The bad news did not end there for the visitors as Liam Plunkett, one of the five members of England's Ashes squad playing the festival match, left the field injured late in the day.
Plunkett hurt the ring finger on his right hand when he fielded a drive in his follow-through and he was unable to complete the over, heading off for a precautionary x-ray. It was a sorry finish to a disheartening day for the England attack, all of whom received harsh treatment from Ronchi in particular.
He plundered 15 fours and three sixes to help the home side to 3 for 260 from 40.1 overs after the tourists made 8 for 259. Voges showed England his capabilities with two sixes and seven fours in an 82-ball innings while Marcus North (58 not out) also played well and brought up the win with a six.
Monty Panesar, who was a popular figure with the crowd and received an ovation every time he came on, finally had Ronchi stumped by Chris Read. With just his second delivery Panesar beat Chris Rogers (32) in flight and had him bowled but like all the England bowlers he appeared rusty and finished with 2 for 63 from ten overs.
The fast men pitched the ball too short too often and suffered square of the wicket. Sajid Mahmood looked the best of them but missed his chance for a wicket when he bowled North with a no-ball.
The retired Test veterans Alec Stewart and Chris Matthews starred in the England innings. Stewart, 43, who captained the visitors, top-scored with a run-a-ball 69 while Matthews, 44, finished with 3 for 38. A 112-run partnership between Stewart and Ravinder Bopara helped England build a reasonable total after Ed Joyce and Owais Shah (22) made a steady opening. Bopara was caught in the deep for 53 from 56 balls, including two sixes.
An unlucky run-out ended Joyce's promising start. He was out for 36 when a Bopara drive deflected off the hands of the bowler Peter Worthington and crashed into the stumps at the non-striker's end. Chris Read failed to make the most of his promotion to No.3, caught at mid-on for 0. A last-minute blitz from Adam Hollioake, whose 38 not out included four sixes, and Robin Smith (20) kept the crowd entertained.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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