PCB XI v England XI, Dubai, 3rd day January 13, 2012

Panesar, Onions stake claim in win

ESPNcricinfo staff

England 269 for 9 dec. (Cook 133, Shah 5-76) and 181 for 3 dec. (Trott 93, Shah 3-38) beat PCB XI 200 for 9 dec. (Hasan 50, Panesar 5-57) and 150 (Alam 51, Onions 3-38) by 100 runs

Graham Onions and Monty Panesar took three wickets each to propel England XI to their second win in as many practice games, and give the selectors a reminder of the decisions they face ahead of the first Test against Pakistan on Tuesday.

In the absence of Tim Bresnan, a bowling spot is up for grabs in the England Test side. Onions and Panesar both pressed their case for inclusion as they helped bowl the Pakistan Cricket Board XI out for 150, and set up a 100-run win on the third day.

Panesar finished with 8 for 103 in the match to press his case to be included as a second spinner for the first Test. Onions also showed he was ready for a return to Test cricket, taking 3 for 38 in the second innings. His two wickets help reduce the PCB XI to 16 for 3 in pursuit of 251 after England declared their second-innings five minutes before lunch.

Onions had Afaq Raheem cutting onto his stumps for 7 before Mohammad Ayub was trapped in front for a third-ball duck. Chris Tremlett is the favourite to replace Bresnan for the first Test and he also struck with the new ball by having Nasir Jamshed caught behind, playing away from his body.

Usman Salahuddin and Fawad Alam added 71 for the fourth wicket before Panesar added to his first-innings five-for by finding the edge of Salahuddin's bat, Graeme Swann taking the catch at slip.

Swann got among the wickets by trapping Haris Sohail leg before, despite a hint of bat before pad, and there was also a wicket for Kevin Pietersen's occasional offspin as Alam holed out to midwicket for 51 for 93 balls.

But it was Panesar again that stole the show as he lured Raza Hasan past a turning ball, before completing the win when Mohammad Talha offered no stroke and was out lbw for three.

England will be encouraged by Panesar's form and they will also have been pleased to see Jonathan Trott make runs in England's second innings. Trott was promoted to open the batting and struck 12 fours making 93, and shared an opening stand of 130 with Andrew Strauss.

Strauss also went past 50 before falling leg before to Yasir Shah, who took all three wickets in the innings and gave England a reminder of their fallibility against spin. He finished with 8 for 95 in the match.