England XI v England Lions, Tour match, Abu Dhabi February 10, 2012

England XI ease to contrived victory


England XI 231 for 3 (Trott 75*, Cook 68) beat England Lions 96 (Dernbach 3-21, Finn 3-28) by nine wickets

Throughout the tour of UAE, England's bowlers have performed impressively but against England Lions it could be argued they were too good as they shot out the second-string team for 96, leading to a contrived chase in Abu Dhabi. The two captains and coaches decided the senior side needed a more thorough workout before facing Pakistan, so it was agreed they would bat till they reached 230, which they did in 45.5 overs.

The negotiations served their purpose as England's beleaguered top order spent some valuable time in the middle, with Jonathan Trott finishing unbeaten on 75, Alastair Cook making 68 and Kevin Pietersen, back opening the batting, contributing a brisk 41. Ravi Bopara came in at No 4, a hint towards the order likely on Monday against Pakistan, but it meant Eoin Morgan only faced three deliveries following his poor Test series.

However, England's bowlers all appear in fine fettle. Jade Dernbach, who may struggle to make the starting XI for the one-day series when Stuart Broad returns from being rested here, produced a three-wicket burst with the new ball. Steven Finn also slotted back into action with three for himself and Tim Bresnan got through five overs on his return from injury.

Dernbach made an immediate impression when he removed Alex Hales' off stump and had a second scalp by the end of his opening over when he trapped the in-form Joe Root lbw. He soon added another as James Vince pulled to square leg and when Jonny Bairstow edged Finn the Lions were in a mess on 14 for 4.

James Taylor, the Lions captain, tried to steady the innings but lost Moeen Ali who edged Graeme Swann to slip. Taylor, having reach 30, then fell to Bresnan before Swann performed his usual trick of removing left-handers by claiming Scott Borthwick.

A last-wicket stand of 27 between Chris Woakes and Jack Brooks pushed the total towards three figures but Finn ended the brief resistance as the Lions were bowled out inside 29 overs.

Opening together for the first time, Cook and Pietersen eased into their task at a good rate and almost knocked off the original target themselves. Pietersen, who managed just 67 runs in the Test series, was greeted by Danny Briggs, the Hampshire left-arm spinner who is in the full one-day squad, taking the new ball. This time, though, it was pace which removed him when he edged Chris Woakes, leaving England's two accumulators, Cook and Trott, to guide the innings.

With no great pressure from the run-rate it was a comfortable situation for them, although the match had effectively become a glorified net session. However, Trott did manage something he has only achieved twice in his 40 ODIs when he struck a six. The pair added 72 in 13 overs before Cook was stumped off Briggs which allowed Bopara his first innings of the tour. His 36 ensured he reacquainted himself with run-scoring ahead of a one-day series that is crucial to his future international prospects. The same could be said of a number of his colleagues.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on February 12, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    I think that the best we can hope for as a result of this game is that the England batsmen gain a little confidence, which would be sorely lacking after that Test series. They could only do so much under the circumstances. There wasn't much choice for opposition for this warm up, although I do think that, once they'd chosen to play with the Lions, they could have managed things a bit better. I'm actually not too worried about these limited-overs games. I thought Pakistan would provide a fight in the the Tests but I expected England to win, so I felt the pressure England were under. I'll be disappointed if they perform badly in the ODIs and T20s but I won't be too surprised. I actually think that England may fare OK against the spinners because they won't go in with the negative, defensive approach they did in the Tests. I think that that was their biggest issue. They always looked better when they were batting positively, as little as it happened.

  • John on February 12, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    @PutMarshyOn, it's hard to read too much into one innings. England were resoundingly beaten by Pakistan in the Test series but they did bowl Pakistan out for 99 in one innings. There was another England vs Lions game not too long ago that the Lions won, so you can't really use one to make a point and ignore the other. From the commentary, it did sound like the England bowlers bowled well. Also, the Lions were missing some players from their recent tour matches, either because they were playing on the other team or they were injured.

  • Malti on February 12, 2012, 8:15 GMT

    I Think with such preparation against spin, England is going to have a tough time in India and Sri Lanka.

  • Malti on February 12, 2012, 8:02 GMT

    Great !!! If this victory makes them feel good, then good for them. But i dont see how this form will help against Afidi-Ajmal etc.

  • John on February 11, 2012, 17:34 GMT

    @PutMarshyOn on (February 11 2012, 11:41 AM GMT) It says whatever you want it to say - however you want to interpret it. England are inconsistent at one day cricket - sometimes very good - drawing vs India in the WC , beating SA in the WC - sometimes poor - losing to Ire and Bangladesh in the same WC and losing heavily to India and Australia in the last year or so.Also the Lions squad which won a series in SL was bolstered in that series by batsmen which were playing against them in this match.As I said before the tour , it's the test matches that really matter and we failed to deliver in those games. Any win in the ODIs is a bonus and you never know. There is zero pressure as no one really expects England to win

  • Dummy4 on February 11, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    wish you best of Luck young man :)

  • Cricket on February 11, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    @ dsig3 on (February 10 2012, 14:32 PM GMT) - Why even report on this? This is just England training nothing more. ::--- WOW !!! THAT IS THE HIGHT OF SARCASM. After all Pak did bowl them out for 72 once.

  • Cricket on February 11, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    @ dsig3 on (Fe 10 2012, 14:32 PM GMT) - Why even report on this? This is just England training nothing more. ::-- Absolutely Agreed. This was more like a Net practice session. Only that in the Nets they would have faced a better quality bowlers like Andherson, Broad, Finn, Dernbach, Swann, Patel Etc.

  • Cricket on February 11, 2012, 16:09 GMT

    @ rahulcricket007 on (Feb 10 2012, 18:18 PM GMT) : - In NZ Boom-Boom bowled a 132 KPH slider.

  • Cricket on February 11, 2012, 16:07 GMT

    @ yorkshirematt on (Feb 10 2012, 22:37 PM GMT) : -- . You nailed it mate. After all they were all out for 72 once, and 145 in the first innings of the next match.

  • No featured comments at the moment.