Strauss ton seals England win
England XI 8 for 223 dec. and 4 for 243 (Strauss 120*, Pietersen 35, Beer 2-99) beat Western Australia 8 for 242 dec. and 223 (Robinson 54, Swann 4-101, Broad 2-26) by six wickets
England surged to a six-wicket win on the third afternoon of their tour match against Western Australia at Perth, captain Andrew Strauss's unbeaten 120 guiding their fourth-innings pursuit of 243. Four wickets for Graeme Swann, with admirable back-up from Stuart Broad and Steven Finn, had brought England back into the game after Western Australia started the day well placed at 1 for 109. The last nine wickets tumbled for 93 runs to set up England's second-innings chase, and though Alastair Cook again fell early Strauss ran to an aggressive hundred and a string of contributions from the middle order sealed the win in the 48th over.
England looked set for a long day in the field while Wes Robinson and Michael Swart built on a strong opening stand of 77 with a 53-run partnership for the second wicket. But Swart's removal, pinned in front of his stumps by Finn, sparked a collapse as Robinson was stumped off Swann shortly after passing fifty, captain Marcus North was run out by substitute fielder Eoin Morgan and Adam Voges was caught behind off Broad in the space of eight overs.
From then on, England kept firm control of the match and wickets fell at regular intervals. No. 11 Michael Hogan bashed 21 from just 12 balls, including two fours and two sixes, to boost Western Australia's innings past 200, but when he was run out England were left with the appetising task of chasing 243 in 52 overs.
Hogan kept up the counter-attack with the ball in his hands, clean bowling Cook in the fifth over as England's chase suffered an early setback. But Strauss anchored the innings with aplomb, adding a sedate 65 in 16.2 overs for the second wicket with Jonathan Trott and then shifting gears in a 66-run partnership with Kevin Pietersen that took half that time.
Pietersen followed his first-innings 58 with a quickfire 35, striking three powerful straight drives in succession off Hogan and lofting left-arm spinner Michael Beer over midwicket before being given out leg before to the same bowler attempting an adventurous reverse sweep. The decision didn't impress Pietersen, who stood at the crease for several seconds looking at his bat before walking off.
Strauss then added a third half-century stand, with Paul Collingwood, and brought up his 36th first-class century with a crisp straight drive off Swart's part-time spin. After Beer had Collingwood caught for 26 for his second wicket, he finished the job in partnership with Ian Bell. Bell hurried the conclusion with three fours and a six in his 22 as England sealed victory with more than four overs to spare.