Eng Lions v Aus A, 1st unofficial Test, Old Trafford, 4th day

Klinger digs in after Bairstow blows

Paul Edwards at Old Trafford

August 10, 2012

Comments: 29 | Text size: A | A

England Lions 315 (Woakes 92) and 315 for 6 dec (Bairstow 139, Root 70, Kieswetter 66*) drew with Australia A 277 (Coan 99, Kerrigan 6-59) and 144 for 4 (Klinger 65*)

Jonny Bairstow collects runs off his hip, England v West Indies, 1st Test, Lord's, 3rd day, May 19, 2012
Jonny Bairstow made his second century in recent weeks before England Lions declared © Getty Images

This game ended rather as though it was the conclusion to the first major skirmish in a five-match series. Asked to score 354 runs in a minimum of 64 overs, Australia A treated England's lunchtime declaration as nothing more than a rhetorical question and were perfectly justified in doing so.

Having managed a rate of just 2.81 runs an over in their first innings, the tourists were never going to embrace the challenge of rattling along at 5.53 an over in their second. Clearly, therefore, Ed Cowan's batsmen were not set a target; they were set a task, that of surviving two sessions against the England A attack. They did the job reasonably well, finishing the match on 144 for 4. For their part, the home side could argue that it is even more important not to risk defeat in the first of what is only a two-match series. The sides begin the second game at Edgbaston next Tuesday.

Australia A lost four wickets in their second innings but these successes were moments when the game awoke with a startle before settling back into an increasingly deep sleep: Cowan, who had looked very impressive in making 99 in the first innings, nicked a fine ball from James Harris straight to Samit Patel at second slip in the tenth over; conversely, Liam Davis, who had not caught the eye on Wednesday, batted smoothly for his 43 runs before he edged Patel to Jonny Bairstow, who took his third fine slip catch of the match.

Tom Cooper conjured his own dismissal, when his sweep off James Tredwell ricocheted to the suddenly ubiquitous Patel at silly point; and two overs before the players shook hands Tim Paine fatally snicked Stuart Meaker to Tredwell, who was then fielding at slip

For most of the innings Michael Klinger batted with studied care and ended with 65 not out off 148 balls. He added 60 runs in 27 overs for the second wicket with Davis and 38 for the fourth with Paine. Klinger's occasional acts of aggression, such as his straight six off Tredwell, were far outnumbered by shots which revealed a careful defence and a tight technique, the type of batting, in other words, that has distinguished matches between England and Australia for well over a century.

Eoin Morgan's attack stuck to its task but Tredwell and Simon Kerrigan never threatened to cause the dam-burst of wickets their alliance had prompted in the first innings. Patel bowled only six overs in the match and will probably not be complaining too loudly this evening. The Old Trafford wicket and square have been examined to perdition at almost every interval by a group of pitch inspectors this week, but the strip that will, apparently, be used for next year's Ashes Test held up very well and certainly harboured no demons on the final afternoon.

The morning's play saw the Lions batsmen prosper, no one more so than Bairstow, who took his overnight 73 not out to 139 in 75 minutes' savage batting before he gave Peter Forrest a maiden first-class wicket when he edged the medium-pacer to Paine.

The Yorkshireman dispatched Jon Holland's second ball of the morning through midwicket for four and it served almost as a declaration of supremacy. He later stroked Mitchell Johnson over square-leg for six with an easeful flick. The ball was almost feathered but it went miles. Bairstow's innings, which included 20 fours and a couple of sixes, may not win the him a recall to the Test side but it revealed, once again, his remarkable ability to make international bowlers look like journeymen.

"Hopefully Jonny's innings will have reminded him and us as to the talent he has in his game," David Parsons, England's performance director, said. "You always worry how players will respond to being left out, and he would have been very disappointed when that happened. But he got a hundred for Yorkshire recently and and played positively here. When his time comes next, who knows when it will be, hopefully that experience of the three Test matches he's had will have done him the world of good."

It was not a comfortable morning for the Australia A attack. Slow left-armer Holland gained some reward for his accuracy and ended the innings with 3 for 89, but Johnson was wayward and went for 75 in 11 overs. This was in sharp contrast to his excellent display in the first innings. And indeed, when Bairstow was not flaying the bowling to the cranes, scaffolding and half-built stands that surround Old Trafford, Craig Kieswetter was doing so. The Somerset keeper made 66 off 94 deliveries and whacked Cooper for two sixes in an over as the Lions racked up 157 runs in 34 overs prior to the declaration.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by bobagorof on (August 13, 2012, 0:48 GMT)

Nice to see Australia able to hold out against spin for a few overs, unlike in the first innings. It's increasingly looking like being the most effective way to dismiss an Australian side - very few batsmen seem to be able to score comfortably against spin. Hopefully the recent workshop will help. Good to see Bairstow getting some runs - he probably didn't expect Pietersen to be left out of the England side, but scoring a century in his last innings will serve him well against South Africa.

Posted by Meety on (August 13, 2012, 0:10 GMT)

@jezzastyles - I agree, it was a moral victory to England, certainly not dominant. It was unlikely that ther'd be an outcome after not getting a full day in on Day 1, combined with a slow 1st innings from England.

Posted by jezzastyles on (August 12, 2012, 11:17 GMT)

@Munkeymomo - it's a shame it wasn't a 5-dayer?? Both teams entered the game knowing it was only a 4-dayer, and neither side, especially ENG in their 1st innings, seemed inclined to go after a win. As for domination, I'd say more 60/40 the Lions way (at the most), but this was not a dominant performance (like the 1st test ENG vs. SA - now that was a case of true dominance).

Posted by Meety on (August 12, 2012, 8:42 GMT)

IMO - a straight comparison between Woakes & Bresnan, suggests far more upside in Woakes. Bresnan has great attitude & has undoubtably lifted being in the National set up, but could be argued to have overperformed. Woakes impresses me muchly!

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 12, 2012, 6:14 GMT)

@jmcilhinney on (August 11 2012, 15:39 PM GMT), I actually meant "it's in limited-overs that Johnson's form has NOT dissipated altogether".

Posted by jezzastyles on (August 12, 2012, 0:03 GMT)

This game was always gonna be a draw after the Lions began the game with a very poor run rate. AUS should have settled in and amassed a truly massive score, but they weren't good enough to do so. As usual, the batting didn't really deliver, no-one scored a hundred. What can AUS take out of the game - not much. Klinger did well, but he's only a short-term prospect given his age. Cowan choked on 99. Forrest, if he's one of the genuine prospects for the future, then our batting pool of talent has run dry. The bowlers did OK given the depleted nature of the attack. Even if MJ has an extended contract, why bother taking him. Just pay him out and tell him to move back to state cricket, extract the digit, and learn some consistency. A pretty even match that was thoroughly boring.

Posted by Munkeymomo on (August 11, 2012, 23:10 GMT)

Domination by the lions. Glad to see Paine back in the setup though, big fan of his game. Lyon proving once again he is the greatest spinner in the world @RandyOz?? Or another over-hyped Aussie pretender? Glad to see Kerrigan getting wickets. @zenboomerang: In the first inns yea, but 4.14 in the second is very good. RE the declaration, it's a shame it wasn't a 5-dayer, no doubt the Lions would have set Aus 400+ and then skittled them for under 300.

Posted by Hammond on (August 11, 2012, 19:20 GMT)

@RandyOz- funny mate "fairly weak" made me laugh all the way into the next schooner of old.

Posted by SDHM on (August 11, 2012, 17:11 GMT)

@landl47 - Woakes is more of a genuine swing bowler than Bres I'd say; that's what he relies on, he doesn't quite have Bresnan's versatility to hit the deck hard or bowl bumpers when it needs to change up. Then again, neither does Bresnan any more it seems. He's definitely put on a bit of pace this season when I've seen him on TV too, odd considering the amount of injuries he's had. He's not rapid still by any stretch, but he seems to be hitting 83-84mph now when he used to be down at 80/81. The problem with his bowling to me is what he does if the ball doesn't swing, but he'd have Anderson to learn from if he broke into the England set up. His batting is more than the added bonus of Bresnan and Broad's too - he can genuinely score Test hundreds for England I think. If KP isn't selected for the third Test, he'd be my choice to bring in at 7, moving Prior up to 6.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 11, 2012, 16:39 GMT)

@Mark Le Bherz on (August 11 2012, 11:17 AM GMT), agreed. This game is just further evidence that you can't trust a good performance from Johnson to mean that he's regaining some form because he's just so inconsistent. People need to get over the fact that he's still around the team because he has a central contract so they won't just let him rot but if something doesn't change dramatically between now and when that contract expires then I doubt that he'll even be around the A squad after that. There are just too many other options, although the limited-overs attack looks less settled than the Test attack, and it's in limited-overs that Johnson's form has dissipated altogether.

Posted by landl47 on (August 11, 2012, 14:14 GMT)

The huge advantage of Woakes over Bresnan is that Woakes is a genuine batsman, not a high lower order player. Bresnan and Woakes seem to be roughly comparable as bowlers, given their first-class records, but Woakes is only 23 to Bresnan's 27. so Woakes has the scope to develop more. If he could put on another yard of pace, he'd be a wicket-taking threat rather than a useful change bowler. However, if England's seamers are Anderson, Broad and Finn, with Swann as the spinner, then Prior and Woakes at 6 and 7 makes sense. Of course, that means someone from the first 6 batsmen has to drop out, but it looks as though KP might be solving that problem on his own!

Posted by SDHM on (August 11, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

Have to agree with landl - Morgan could have been more aggressive with his declaration, especially considering he effectively had six bowlers when you count Patel. Still, he hasn't captained much, so we should cut him some slack there. As a Somerset fan the injury to Compton is infuriating - our leading batsman is now probably out for the majority of the run-in and barely got a chance to show what he can do. Plenty of other positives for England though; Root has come on massively this year and isn't too far away from Test cricket, Woakes is beginning to stake his claim as a genuine all-rounder, Bairstow gave a timely reminder of his destructive abilities in the light of KP's probably forcing out and the young bowlers coming through aren't too shabby at all; I reckon either Harris or Meaker will be going on at least one of the winter tours, and Kerrigan can't be too far away either.

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 12:17 GMT)

Johnson would have to be the most frusterating bowler in history bowled rather well in the first innings 4 wickets at less than 1.8 an over and then second inings gets no wickets and goes for near 7 an over.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 11, 2012, 11:05 GMT)

@zenboomerang on (August 11 2012, 05:39 AM GMT), quite so. I think that Prior at 6 and Woakes at 7 can be part of a pretty decent batting lineup and Woakes is a genuine bowler to play with Swann, Anderson, Broad and whomever else they pick. I'd be happy to see them give that a go.

Posted by RandyOZ on (August 11, 2012, 10:52 GMT)

Another purely brilliant performance by Oz, unlucky to lose against a fairly weak Lions outfit.

Posted by zenboomerang on (August 11, 2012, 6:39 GMT)

@jmcilhinney... I thought Woakes had a good match - keeping one end tight bowling can be as good as taking wkts as batmen will often go for the bowler at the other end... Chris managed that in both innings, more than MJ has achieved for a long time... Maybe a future no.7?... Next match I would drop a spinner & MJ, bringing in Starc & McDermott...

Posted by zenboomerang on (August 11, 2012, 6:29 GMT)

Well Johnson has yet again proven that he could still be an excellent ODI bowler - just doesn't know how to play longer than 1 innings, which is a pity... MJ was probably the difference in this match - undisciplined bowling let Eng of the hook... Eng going in with 5 bowlers to our 4 also was a major advantage for them - pity we didn't have an O'Keefe, Christian, McDonald playing in this series - Christian had a better batting Shield season than all the batsmen on this tour (except Davis)...

Posted by zenboomerang on (August 11, 2012, 6:08 GMT)

Klinger had a great match & top runs for Oz with a n.o. in the 2nd & steading the innings - one of the better readers of the game... Not sure what Forrest can take from this match - Burns normally bats above him, so Boof must have some idea to their abilities that the selectors haven't yet figured out... Whats with Paine batting at no.5? - no cricket for 12 mths & now he is a batsman/wktkeeper?... He doesn't have the FC record of Burns by a long way & Cooper has better FC stats - the selectors still do not know how to put up a decent batting order...

Posted by zenboomerang on (August 11, 2012, 5:58 GMT)

@Paul Edwards :- "(Oz) managed a rate of just 2.81 runs an over in their first innings"... Just?... Yet Eng only "just" managed 2.36 runs an over in their first innings & created this draw by the slow batting - by the end of day 2 it was always looking to be a bored-a-thon draw... The declaration? - so much for entertaining the paying public...

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 11, 2012, 4:29 GMT)

With Lyon taking 2-101 off 38 and 1-62 off 14 while Tredwell and Kerrigan took 9 between them in the first innings, it seems that RandyOZ may have been a little bit premature talking about who had whom hopping around. It's hard not to think that RandyOZ is probably premature quite a bit.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 11, 2012, 4:23 GMT)

It's good to see Woakes play a fine innings that very well could have been a hundred if he hadn't been left with the #11 but it would have been nice to see him pick up a wicket or two. He was relatively economical at least, which is a start. It's also good to see Bairstow play a fine innings, but I'm not quite sure it helps his case as a Test player. It certainly reinforces his credentials as a limited-overs batsman, because this was basically a limited-overs innings. While there is call for innings like this occasionally in Test cricket (just ask KP) the selectors will be looking more for a solid defence and technique ahead of an ability to make quick runs. I know he took at least one bouncer from Johnson on the body in the first innings. I guess he would have copped a few bouncers in the second innings as well but were they accurate? Did he attack them or defend them or just wear them again?

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 11, 2012, 4:03 GMT)

The actual result of this game doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things so it's a shame that the Lions batted on and basically condemned the game to a draw. If they had declared about half an hour before lunch with the lead at about 300, Aus A probably would have had a dash and put both teams in with a chance of a positive result. As it was, there's no way Aus A would have made 350 in two sessions and, against batsmen not taking excessive risks, it was highly unlikely that the Lions were going to take 10 wickets. Having said all that, I guess it's easy for me to say that the result didn't matter but, to the players in the game, I'm sure that they really didn't want to lose.

Posted by landl47 on (August 11, 2012, 3:41 GMT)

I thought Morgan's declaration was very disappointing. When there is so little time to go, the only realistic chance of forcing a win is to set the other side a target that they will at least make an attempt to reach. If he'd declared after, say, 67 overs and left Australia 277 to get in 71 overs, it might have been game on. As it was, Australia had no chance of getting the runs and once Woakes had bowled his first 8 overs for 11 runs, the rest of the game was a snooze. Did we learn anything? Root, Bairstow, Woakes and Kerrigan are promising, Klinger played two decent innings (pity he's 32, not 22), Johnson is inconsistent and Bird is apparently, on the basis of his three wickets in the match for 120 runs, a better bowler than any Englishman who ever played the game (do Jonesy2's parents know he's posting comments on the internet?). In other words, not much.

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 0:20 GMT)

@cric698 In the sort of sage decision that made him so beloved, Andrew Hilditch arranged a special longer-term contract for Johnson than anyone else in the squad had. So he was the ONE player that the current selectors couldn't drop from the Contract List if they wanted to (and all available evidence, incidentally, is that they DID want to)

Posted by Meety on (August 10, 2012, 23:28 GMT)

@hhillbumper - I would say you should master your own language old chap, it would be sarcasm (the lowest form of wit), not irony! == == == Overall a moral victory to the Lions, given Oz A's batting on tour, they were unlikely to reach that total. The take outs for Oz, were 1) Cowan has been very good, 2) Liam Davis is not far off the mark, needs to convert starts, 3) Klinger has turned his tour around, 4) When MJ is on, he is still very good, 5) Holland is pretty much my 2nd choice spinner, 6) Bird was quite good in the games he's played!

Posted by cric698 on (August 10, 2012, 22:59 GMT)

As an England supporter I'm glad Aus keep M Johnson.....tho it is surprising to say the least! especially when they have another left armer in Starc, who has bowled superbly (and with pace) every time I've seen him.

Posted by Wozza-CY on (August 10, 2012, 21:35 GMT)

Can anyone tell me why they keep M.Johnson? Please.....let's move on!

Posted by Kidderwolf on (August 10, 2012, 21:34 GMT)

So any points of significance for future England Test squads then after this one? Certainly Baristow has done himself a huge favour and Kieswetter might get the job of Prior's deputy, particularly in view of Steve Davies' poor batting this season for Surrey.

Posted by hhillbumper on (August 10, 2012, 20:49 GMT)

they have so much talent it is scarey.There you go Jonesey 2 said it for you.Australia are the greatest ever. Ah the sweet smack of irony

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