ICC Combined XI v England XI, Dubai, 3rd day January 9, 2012

England survive wobble to take victory

ESPNcricinfo staff

England XI 185 for 8 dec (Cook 76) and 261 for 7 (Strauss 78, Nabi 3-66) beat ICC Combined XI 281 (Viljoen 98, Broad 4-46) and 164 for 9 dec (Shahzad 74, Broad 3-22)

England overcame another middle-order wobble to secure a three-wicket win against the ICC Combined Associate and Affiliate XI in Dubai. Andrew Strauss's 78 had put the visitors in control as they chased 261, but five wickets fell for 66 to leave the game in the balance, and it required composure from Steven Davies and Stuart Broad to ensure England started the tour with victory.

When Ian Bell departed England still needed 62 and the ICC XI were confident of pulling off an upset. However, Davies and Broad played sensibly to chip away at the target, although Broad fell with the scores level. The partnership was not without alarm, though, as Davies was put down at cover on 20 and Broad would have been run out had Majid Haq produced a better throw.

The ICC XI had declared 18.3 overs into the day to set up the final innings of the match, and the early indications were that England would have few problems as Strauss added 63 with Alastair Cook. Jonathan Trott almost departed for a duck - again to a catch down the leg side - but the umpires ruled the chance had not carried to the wicketkeeper. He and Strauss combined in a 70-run stand, which took England halfway towards their target with Strauss reaching a crisp fifty off 67 balls.

However, Strauss toe-ended a pull to midwicket off Haq, which opened the door for the ICC XI. Kevin Pietersen revived an old story when he chipped a catch to mid-on off George Dockrell, the Ireland left-arm spinner, who was drafted into the team after injury to Hamid Hassan. England were steadied by the Warwickshire pair of Trott and Ian Bell before another flurry of wickets.

Trott was caught at short leg and Eoin Morgan completed a lean match when he glanced Boyd Rankin down the leg side. Bell, who had played confidently to reach 39, then fell to a paddle-sweep, which Paul Stirling, fielding at slip, anticipated superbly as he ran around behind the wicketkeeper to take the catch.

Earlier in the day Broad took his seventh wicket of the match when he removed Mohammad Nabi, but Mohammad Shahzad ensured the lead was extended at a good rate alongside Haq before William Porterfield had the luxury of declaring. Graeme Swann was absent from the field with a slight muscle problem but came to the middle to hit the winning run.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Martin on January 12, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer on (January 12 2012, 00:51 AM GMT) - well, there's a challenge! TBH we're not big on ODI history, but here goes; (1) Which is the only Test-playing team to have lost an ODI by 200 or more runs at least 4 times? must be -???? ,er; India? They were good at getting thrashed in ODI (and Tests, I saw a few...) during 70's and 80's. (2) Which are the only two Test-playing teams NEVER to have lost an ODI by 200 or more runs? Must be England and Australia ? :-) ? Now, after all that - they'd better publish!

  • Andrew on January 12, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    @SirViv1973 - what you fail to mention is that the player that should of played before Beer & Lyon is S O'Keefe who's FC ave is around 25, & most knowledgable fans realise that is a major oversight on behalf of our selectors, particularly as he performed with credit in Hobart against England in the Oz A tour game, he also has a batting ave of around 35. @ suve- England don't have to win everywhere to be #1, they already are #1. To compare themselves with great teams of the past & stay #1, winning at least one series in Asia in the next 12mths is a must. @SirViv1973 - several more things 1) "...but beating Sri Lanka anywhere at the moment isn't too difficult..." will probably come back to haunt you, 2) Whilst I know Oz are NOT #1 & it will be a while before they can get the rankings to show this, the fact is (in Tests) there is only TWO pieces of Silverware Oz need to win back - namely the Ashes & Border/Gavaskar, we have one colonial hand on the latter, WATCH OUT in 2013!!!!!!!

  • Mark on January 12, 2012, 0:54 GMT

    Ps: The Netherlands have the dubious honour of having lost an ODI by 200 or more runs 5 times, while Kenya have also lost 4 times by 200 or more runs.

  • Mark on January 12, 2012, 0:51 GMT

    Wombats: here is a brain teaster that you might like, although it is only periferally related to this thread (however, it is related to various posts within it that have strayed onto the subject of ODIs. (1) Which is the only Test-playing team to have lost an ODI by 200 or more runs at least 4 times? (2) Which are the only two Test-playing teams NEVER to have lost an ODI by 200 or more runs? Both answers may surprise you...

  • Martin on January 11, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    @JG2704 - this is guy who reckons Nepal would have beaten the ICC XI as well and that Adelaide is a green pitch! Can't take that seriously. Just a troublemaker. @Yevghenny - absolutely - couldn't agree more.

  • John on January 11, 2012, 13:03 GMT

    @suve on (January 09 2012, 20:24 PM GMT) You say that Australia were in the transitional phase 2010/11 which is why England beat them. So were they also in that "Transitional Period" a few weeks ago when they lost a test/drew series vs NZ. I won't mention the 47 all out vs SA as Aus did bounce back but let's face it a number 1 ranked side should not be drawing a test series with NZ at home.The last time we won in the WI was 2003-4 but that was thee only series we played in WI before the early 2009 disaster and you mention they were outplayed badly - maybe you ought to look at the scorecards and they didn't play SL in 2009. I've done the SC nonsense before. As for odi's we got thrashed by Australia last year on the same sort of pitches we beat them in the test series.

  • Mark on January 11, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    Elliot, true, although one problem with that attack was that when one of the five was injured there was no identifiable replacement. Now, if one of the attack is injured there is Tremlett, Finn, Onions, Shazad, Woakes, Panesar, etc. who have all got international experience and have been successful. In 2005 the nearest to a replacement was Collingwood or, in a crisis, Anderson, who was struggling to regain his action and, on the rare occasions that he played, very lightly bowled because he was so expensive. As it was though, Jones's body let him down and he never played another Test. Steve Harmison struggled to recapture his menace and was dropped and recalled 13(!!) times in winter 2008/09. Matthew Hoggard suffered svere depression, which ended his international career. Andrew Flintoff couldn't stay fit. And Ashley Giles was dropped to make way for Monty. The consequences for the side were all too well demonstrated.

  • G on January 11, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    Bringing out a DVD called "England on Top of the world, the world's number one test team" & broadcasting a new years special on Sky Sports can be misleading. ============== it's also known as "cashing in" and "filling slots" - besides, why can't cricket fans look back and enjoy the previous 12 months. Lord knows we deserve it, having had to put up with pretty empty displays for the majority of the 20 years I've been watching Cricket

  • Elliott on January 11, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    2005 bowling vs current bowling... You'd always take 2005 when all fit & firing, but itrelied on (e.g.) Jones's body and Harmison's temperament not going awry. I think this epitomises the point many commentators (professional or otherwise) have made about current Eng side: it is full of non-superstars, but with a set-up and ethos that gets results, and has the chance to keep getting results (not crash and burn like the class of 2005).

  • Mark on January 11, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    HankasHarry, we don't control Sky (who have to sell their coverage)! I don't think that the title is misleading at all. Since the ICC Test rankings started Australia, South Africa (twice) and India have reached #1, England have never reallt threatened to, so it is a big thing for the team finally to have made it. However, as the position - at least as of September 1st 2011 - was extremely precarious and South Africa had an immediate opportunity to take the spot back, what came under the headlines was something on the lines of "... but keeping #1 will be a lot tougher". As it is, things have conspired such that England can suffer a heavy defeat to Pakistan and stay #1, but no one will be satisfied with that. Incidentally, I don't think that anyone would argue that the 2005 attack was much stronger. The pity was that it never played another Test together after the 4th Test of 2005. However, the current attack is getting better all the time with experience and has more depth.

  • No featured comments at the moment.