ICC Combined XI v England XI, 1st day, Dubai January 7, 2012

England frustrated by lower-order rally

ESPNcricinfo staff

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.

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  • Dummy4 on January 8, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    England are a absolute joke.They could only manage 3 innings wins on Aussie soil,and personally if they cant beat a 3rd rate side like that 5-0,then they wont be top of the rankings long.The English commentators arent as good as the channel 9 boys either.At least they talk a lot of sense,like Clarke might get 500,and Sehwag,Tendulkar,Laxman,Dravid and Gambhir all need to score double hundreds,now thats sense for you.I also like Channel 9 best,because its not full of gimmicks,like trying to sell something like Michael Clarkes right bootlace he wore whilst making 300,for about $9000.

  • Dummy4 on January 8, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    Practice matches don't mean much. When India came to England this summer Somerset put up 425/3d then bowled out India for 224 (before India had injuries). If anything this should help them reinforce that they will have to be at their best for Pakistan. Sure it will be a close contest.

  • j on January 8, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    Broad and Anderson have been consistently potent with the new ball against everyone in the last two years, and showed it again today in the UAE. Batting looks like it needs a net, but forcing a three day game is never easy, if not for the reason that 4 innings have gotta be completed in three days for a result to be possible. When you're the uncontested Number One of course though, you look to win everything.

  • j on January 8, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    Yes Let's forget all about the 29 or so all out against one of the, if not the worst test team in the world...and the hugely long list of other Australian/Indian cricketing embarrassments that have been crammed into the last few years.... Meanwhile back in the real world, England show what they've done now for so long: attack and attack. Forcing a three day game certainly aint easy, but when you're the best team in the world, you try to win everything.

  • Dummy4 on January 8, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    A very novel idea to have ICC associate XI playing more matches with Test team tour matches. They should start with playing against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe ...

  • Dummy4 on January 8, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    good for England, in future they can pick some players from this site.

  • rajmohan on January 8, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    @RandyOZ still taking shots at England aren't you?.....stop gloating after being 2-0 up ....you have not even won against IND yet.....try beating NZ first at home in AUS!!....then England might consider giving you 5 tests on next Ashes tour...;-)

  • Bryn on January 8, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    england declared to try and fool people that they arent a joke?!!! hahahahaaha

  • Dean on January 8, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    Maybe something has been stumbled upon here. Surely an Associate Xi would be more than competitive against the likes of Zim and Ban. Perhaps in the future a combined associate team can tour these countries and play 4 or 5 day unofficial tests. I'm sure this would be more competitive than seeing these 2 countries getting continually smashed by the bigger nationals. Perhaps you could even go the whole way and give a mixed associate team limited test status they could end up being good enough to play NZL and Win too. We have had rest of the world teams comprising of players from test playing nations play in official tests in the past, so why not afford the same benefit to players from the lesser nations, I think it could only be good for the development of the game outside the established order.

  • Dummy4 on January 8, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge are you serious this is against part time cricketers who havent ever played as a team?... roll on almost rolled over that with the associates losing there best bowler with an injury on the field... although a warm up is just what it is i am sure england would want a little more time in the middle... hopefully this will ensure no complacency from england but will also remind england fans that this isnt going to be easy as they think...

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