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Australia A v England XI, Hobart, 3rd day

England eye victory after Bell's 192

The Report by Brydon Coverdale at Bellerive Oval

November 19, 2010

Comments: 19 | Text size: A | A

Australia A 230 and 3 for 128 (Hughes 58, Bresnan 3-25) trail England XI 523 (Bell 192, Collingwood 89, Cook 60, O'Keefe 4-88) by 165 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Tim Bresnan celebrates after bowling Callum Ferguson, Australia A v England, Hobart, 3rd day, November 19, 2010
Tim Bresnan picked up three wickets, including Callum Ferguson bowled for 10 © Getty Images
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Ian Bell warmed up for the Ashes with his best first-class score in two years, while Australia's batting plans for the Gabba Test became much clearer after Usman Khawaja and Callum Ferguson failed again. The two young batsmen are in Australia's 17-man Test squad but they are now unlikely to unseat Michael Hussey, who made a career-saving Sheffield Shield century at the MCG.

The first Test begins next Thursday and the Australian selectors will be pleased with the efforts of Hussey and Mitchell Johnson, who in the same match added a five-wicket haul to his first-innings hundred. The major question now surrounds the spin-bowling position, after Nathan Hauritz sent down only one over in New South Wales' loss as the SCG, where Tasmania's Xavier Doherty bowled tidily.

A 12- or 13-man squad is expected to be named on Saturday and it would be a surprise if Khawaja or Ferguson feature, after their disappointing efforts against England's second-string attack in Hobart. Ferguson was bowled for 10 by a Tim Bresnan delivery that kept low, after he made 7 in the first innings, while Khawaja's 13 from Wednesday was followed by a second-innings golden duck.

Bresnan came around the wicket and managed to nip the ball away from Khawaja, who edged behind at almost the same moment Hussey emerged from the MCG dressing rooms on 98 after the Shield tea break. Bresnan (3 for 25) also accounted for Ed Cowan, who played on for 33 trying to pull, and by stumps Australia A were 3 for 128 with Phillip Hughes on 58 and Cameron White on 22.

England's lead was 165 and they were in a strong position to push for victory, which would keep their morale high less than a week from the start of the Ashes - not that Bell needs any more of a confidence boost after his 192. His 275-ball innings eventually came to an end after six hours, when he drove Steven Smith to cover.

Although he missed the double-century he certainly achieved his goal of turning his innings into a big hundred. Bell's tempo on the third day wasn't quite as quick as the second afternoon, but he continued to tick the scoreboard over, first in the latter stages of a 240-run partnership with Paul Collingwood, and then with an entertaining lower order.

Collingwood began the day on 74 and was searching for triple-figures for the first time on the tour, having been out for 94 against South Australia last week. But this time he could only reach 89 and was caught behind when he tried to hook Clint McKay, to end a stand that began at a slightly precarious 5 for 137.

Andrew Strauss was in no hurry to declare, happy to let Bell and the lower order dent the confidence of Australia's fringe bowlers further. Smith finished with 2 for 118 from his 27 overs, having picked up Matt Prior, caught at point miscuing an attempted slog, for 27. The left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe ended up with 4 for 88, including the final two wickets.

O'Keefe had Bresnan lbw for 36 and Chris Tremlett caught at mid-off for 16 to bring the innings to a close with Ajmal Shahzad not out on 18. It left Kevin Pietersen the only man who failed to reach double-figures for the innings. It was a minor quibble for an England outfit full of confidence.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by landl47 on (November 19, 2010, 22:04 GMT)

England did all that could be expected of them, 'nuff said. Khawaja and Ferguson didn't do anything to suggest they should be in the test side. Hughes, on the other hand, played pretty well, and, at 21, has a lot of upside. I see him as opener and Watson taking over from North at #6 before the end of the series. Hussey and Johnson had last gasp successes which have secured their places, although I don't think they were ever in doubt. Not sure about the rest of the bowling- can they risk Harris, who wasn't fit to play this week? Dougie Bollinger took 0-41 in the second innings of a bowlers' match and his last 3 balls went for 2-4-6 to lose the game. The safest bets might be Siddle and Hilfenhaus. Hauritz scored 6 and 0 and bowled exactly one over for 7 runs in his game. Australia might want to play a left-arm spinner just to counter Kevin Pietersen, and Steve O'Keefe didn't do himself any harm there. Just a few days to go now- can't wait.

Posted by 5wombats on (November 19, 2010, 21:32 GMT)

I've been saying since the Summer (Northern Hemisphere) that England are a good side now and are not going to turn up in Aus just to get stuffed. This match against Aus A is showing a dominance that we England fans haven't seen down under for over 20 years. I've been watching the build up in Englands preparation and it is impressive. Starting with Stuart Broad there is a lot of fight in this side. It's Aus that have all the questions to answer. Barring rain (Tassie does have rain) - England will win this game tomorrow. Our second string bowlers will roll this lot over. Australian cricket watchers - keep watching.....

Posted by   on (November 19, 2010, 19:49 GMT)

Second string and reserve English bowlers running through sides in Ozzie conditions.

Has this ever happened before?

Let's stop pretending the Aussies are a world force now shall we. It's been a 5 year decline, but they are about 6th in world rankings, and that seems to be about where they deserve to be.

Posted by timmytimmytimmytimmy on (November 19, 2010, 18:03 GMT)

well tait doesn´t play tests so he´s out. not sure about jaques. i think we need steve smith for the 1st test simply for his batting. if not we´ll have hilfy, dougy & hauritz who are all fairly useless with the bat. the tail is too long without him and i think he´s fairly equal with hauritz as a bowler.

aussies shouldnt be written off. england´s playing well, no denying but we really haven´t done that badly recently. we got to the final in twenty/20, very nearly (and should´ve) drawn in india. we´ve stuffed up 1 innings against pakistan and in a couple of ODIs against sri lanka, come next week we´ll fire

Posted by Aussasinator on (November 19, 2010, 17:52 GMT)

They are ODI and T20 players who thrive in a no slips regime.

Posted by timmytimmytimmytimmy on (November 19, 2010, 17:40 GMT)

well tait doesn´t play tests so he´s out. not sure about jaques. i think we need steve smith for the 1st test simply for his batting. if not we´ll have hilfy, dougy & hauritz who are all fairly useless with the bat. the tail is too long without him and i think he´s fairly equal with hauritz as a bowler.

aussies shouldnt be written off. england´s playing well, no denying but we really haven´t done that badly recently. we got to the final in twenty/20, very nearly (and should´ve) drawn in india. we´ve stuffed up 1 innings against pakistan and in a couple of ODIs against sri lanka, come next week we´ll fire

Posted by Herbet on (November 19, 2010, 15:54 GMT)

Hughes looked good today, his stella form v South Africa and in the early part of his career cant have been a fluke, he looks a very promising young player. Can someone also shed some light on why Phil Jaques is not in contention? My Australia team would be, and I'm English; Hughes, Katich, Ponting (c), Clarke, Hussey, Watson, Paine, Johnson, any spinner, Harris, Tait. I'll except that if Harris and Tait aren't fit then Siddle and Hilfenhaus are next best. I think Watson hasn't the technque to open in the long term and you dont need North as a spinning alrounder with Katich and Clarke already in the side. I think the sheer pace of Harris and particularly Tait would do more damage to England than any of your other seamers, or even Brett Lee if he ever gets fit this summer. Spinner wize, Hauritz is not top bracket but can be tidy in the absence of anyone better. Smith is not an out and out leggie like Warne/MacGill, more of a Cameron White.

Posted by SettingSun on (November 19, 2010, 15:15 GMT)

@adamgilly - and in English?

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (November 19, 2010, 13:47 GMT)

England should polish off Aus A sometime today pm, and have got themselves 4 reserve bowlers in the groove in the process-nicely done. it all goes to show that proper planning means a decent chance of success. Bell batted brilliantly and at length. That is what will be needed from now on from all of the players.

Posted by adamgilly on (November 19, 2010, 13:47 GMT)

i hope johnson's ton ws nt a fluke... and for god's sake plz dnt forgt dat dat man is in d team for takin wkts wich he's nt doin sinc a yr or two at all... wud lov 2 see hughes at d top n watto at 5/6.. wil tak a real beating to beat englnd dis tym tho nevr write aussies off in our backyard..

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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