England frustrated by lower-order rally
England XI 16 for 0 trail ICC Combined XI 281 (Viljoen 98, Shahzad 51, Broad 4-46) by 265 runs
England were given a good workout in the field on the opening day of their first warm-up match of the tour as the tail wagged for a ICC Combined Associate and Affiliate XI. First-class best innings from Christi Viljoen and Boyd Rankin revived the innings after England made a rampant start.
Stuart Broad claimed three wickets in his first three overs as England took command at lunch but Namibian allrounder Viljoen and Warwickshire bowler Rankin rallied in the lower order with a partnership of 96 to give England a testing final session.
Viljoen's 98 from 189 balls prevented the ICC XI from being blown away. Broad's wickets were followed by two for Graeme Swann and a wicket for Steven Finn - playing because of Chris Tremlett's eye infection and an elbow injury to Tim Bresnan.
At 91 for 6 at lunch, it was a gentle introduction to the tour for England. But Viljoen added 32 with Afghanistan wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad, whose half century was the first resistance for the ICC XI. His counter-attacking innings came from 55 balls and included seven fours.
The second act of resistance came through Viljoen after James Anderson had Shahzad caught behind after lunch. Viljoen struck 13 fours and a six to take his side to tea on 182 for 8. But Warwickshire's Rankin also made a useful score after tea to provide another partnership for ICC XI.
Broad returned to wrap up the innings by having Viljoen caught by James Anderson two short of a maiden first-class hundred. He finished with 4 for 46 before Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook safely negotiated four overs to close on 16 for 0.
The day had begun with Strauss winning the toss after which England used the new ball to good effect. Broad enjoyed his return to an England shirt for the first time since September by removing the ICC XI top three. William Porterfield tried to flick a full ball to leg and edged behind for one before Paul Stirling played on trying to pull. Kyle Coetzer also fell for single figures as he tried to force off the back foot and edged to Steve Davies - keeping wicket in place of Matt Prior who injured a finger in training yesterday.
Finn produced an edge from Majid Haq's loose drive outside off stump, pouched by Swann low at second slip. Swann was introduced into the attack and was struck down the ground for six by Craig Williams before he pushed forward and edged behind to Davies. Swann then lured Mohammad Nabi out of his crease and he missed with a wild hack to be bowled for a second-ball duck.
The fightback arrived before Anderson claimed his second wicket having Rankin caught by Finn at point to break the main stand of the innings. Broad then took his fourth as ICC XI were bowled out for a far higher score than might have been expected.