Australia A v England XI, Hobart, 3rd day November 19, 2010

England eye victory after Bell's 192

  shares 19

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

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 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.

  • 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.....

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Aussasinator on November 19, 2010, 17:52 GMT

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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • SettingSun on November 19, 2010, 15:15 GMT

    @adamgilly - and in English?

  • 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.

  • 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..

  • 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.

  • 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.....

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Aussasinator on November 19, 2010, 17:52 GMT

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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • SettingSun on November 19, 2010, 15:15 GMT

    @adamgilly - and in English?

  • 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.

  • 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..

  • Okakaboka on November 19, 2010, 13:20 GMT

    Well.....It appears this group of Shield matches and the Australia A game have indicated the test selectors stuffed up......just as nearly all us armchair experts and bloggers have been saying. A further well done to Hilditch.....You idiot.....McDonald has broken his hand...our one in -form batsman! If he had been selected in the test team (WHICH HE SHOULD HAVE!!!!!), he probably would have been sitting out this game and wouldn't have had his hand broken. We could further suggest that this may contribute to Australia losing the Ashes. What I can't understand is why everyone calls Hauriz an off spinner.....I never see the ball spin....it goes straight...he's a straight spinner..unless the ball hits a bump on the pitch or something. Smith is a straight spinner too.

  • on November 19, 2010, 12:03 GMT

    @seagrip: There is an issue with your analysis in that Test cricket is a subset of FC cricket. Which means that Hilfenhaus' Test averages are included in his FC averages. McDonald, on the other hand, has not played the 13 bowling-average-increasing Tests that Hilfenhaus has, he's played 4. Hilfenhaus' State Cricket average is 28.87 . McDonald's is 29.05. That's slightly in favour of Hilfenhaus. Similarly , Siddle's is 24.96 vs McKay's 24.91 , marginally in favour of McKay , but nothing compared to what you made it out to be. There's not so much quality left in Australian cricket any more , but it's only a matter of time . I feel that the selectors are right to persevere with Hilfenhaus and Siddle , Hilfenhaus is one of the most talented swing bowlers in the world and Siddle is an in-your-face, tough sort of bowler who is imperative for the national side at this time.

  • Percy_Fender on November 19, 2010, 11:59 GMT

    It all seems unreal to me. Usually in the run up to the Gabba Test, one only got to read of the mauling all visiting teams were being subjected to by unknown players from Queensland and New South Wales. This time England with either the first team or their second one have won nearly everything. It looks too good but that is the way the game goes. West Indies towered over evryone else for nearly a decade and a half and Australia were no different for nearly the same length. When things go wrong they seem hopelessly so as it seems to be in Australia now. But like we are seeing a resurgence of the West Indies in Sri Lanka I get the impression that Australia is in a spot of bother. With Hussey having hit a hundred in a Sheffield game and Johnson having got a five for, things seem to be looking up slightly. For the good of the game I hope the prologue leading up the Ashes story was just an aberration and that the series is a memorable one.With all the hype about the Ashes we deserve better.

  • Paul-in-Finland on November 19, 2010, 11:09 GMT

    Credit where credit is due ..5/35 with 121* how often do you see that on a score card ?? Opps you guys are looking at the wrong score card......Aust A , is exactly that the Australian 2nd XI !

  • Chris_Howard on November 19, 2010, 10:55 GMT

    Finally we can stop hearing about Ferguson as a Test option! 36 first class average is not Test material. Bring Hughes for Hussey (move Watto down to Hussey's spot) and O'Keefe for North. We've lost enough Tests already when we thought Hussey and North were in form or hoping they would find form.

  • seagrip on November 19, 2010, 9:00 GMT

    Interesting comparison of a few of australia's likely bowlers (Hilf and Siddle) in first class cricket: Siddle vs Clint McKay, Batting: Clint McKay wins - 4 runs per innings better over career, Bowling: Clint McKay wins - 2.35 runs per wicket better over career. Hilfenahus vs Andrew McDonald, Batting: Andrew McDonald wins - 28 per innings better over career, Bowling: Andrew McDonald wins - 0.05 runs per wicket better over career. You could perform equally alarming comparisons against the likes of Callum Ferguson in the squad ahead of Phil Hughes/Jacques. And Marcus North too!! Get the selectors OUT!

  • RJHB on November 19, 2010, 8:24 GMT

    What a pity for Ferguson and Khawaja, caught on a dodgy greentop on Wednesday but today just couldn't quite show us something. Khawaja got a good one first ball but neither of them were getting forward in either innings and paid the price. Still great to see Hughes make a few and look pretty good and surely O'Keefe must be ahead of Doherty. He really looks the goods. Hats off to Bell, best I've ever seen him play. Awesome!

  • jackiethepen on November 19, 2010, 8:14 GMT

    Bell batted very unselfishly in the latter stage of his innings, giving the strike to Matt Prior to allow him time in the middle and then going for quick runs with Bresnan without an eye on his 200. He and Bresnan took some risks but it paid off and the scoreboard rattled on nicely, followed in the same vein by the lower order batsmen. It gave England a huge lead. Bell was thinking more like a captain so his captaincy of Warks has stood him in good stead. Well done.

  • priceless on November 19, 2010, 7:55 GMT

    Well well Australia on the rack. 1st time in almost a lifetime. although i support England beware the wounded buffalo ozzie.

    Another pat on the back for Andy Flower for arranging a full set of warm up games of good 1st class cricket.

    a tall building is built on a good solid foundation. to pitch up and play TESTS with no preparation is just madness. go for it Andy. A Rhodesian i think!!!

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  • priceless on November 19, 2010, 7:55 GMT

    Well well Australia on the rack. 1st time in almost a lifetime. although i support England beware the wounded buffalo ozzie.

    Another pat on the back for Andy Flower for arranging a full set of warm up games of good 1st class cricket.

    a tall building is built on a good solid foundation. to pitch up and play TESTS with no preparation is just madness. go for it Andy. A Rhodesian i think!!!

  • jackiethepen on November 19, 2010, 8:14 GMT

    Bell batted very unselfishly in the latter stage of his innings, giving the strike to Matt Prior to allow him time in the middle and then going for quick runs with Bresnan without an eye on his 200. He and Bresnan took some risks but it paid off and the scoreboard rattled on nicely, followed in the same vein by the lower order batsmen. It gave England a huge lead. Bell was thinking more like a captain so his captaincy of Warks has stood him in good stead. Well done.

  • RJHB on November 19, 2010, 8:24 GMT

    What a pity for Ferguson and Khawaja, caught on a dodgy greentop on Wednesday but today just couldn't quite show us something. Khawaja got a good one first ball but neither of them were getting forward in either innings and paid the price. Still great to see Hughes make a few and look pretty good and surely O'Keefe must be ahead of Doherty. He really looks the goods. Hats off to Bell, best I've ever seen him play. Awesome!

  • seagrip on November 19, 2010, 9:00 GMT

    Interesting comparison of a few of australia's likely bowlers (Hilf and Siddle) in first class cricket: Siddle vs Clint McKay, Batting: Clint McKay wins - 4 runs per innings better over career, Bowling: Clint McKay wins - 2.35 runs per wicket better over career. Hilfenahus vs Andrew McDonald, Batting: Andrew McDonald wins - 28 per innings better over career, Bowling: Andrew McDonald wins - 0.05 runs per wicket better over career. You could perform equally alarming comparisons against the likes of Callum Ferguson in the squad ahead of Phil Hughes/Jacques. And Marcus North too!! Get the selectors OUT!

  • Chris_Howard on November 19, 2010, 10:55 GMT

    Finally we can stop hearing about Ferguson as a Test option! 36 first class average is not Test material. Bring Hughes for Hussey (move Watto down to Hussey's spot) and O'Keefe for North. We've lost enough Tests already when we thought Hussey and North were in form or hoping they would find form.

  • Paul-in-Finland on November 19, 2010, 11:09 GMT

    Credit where credit is due ..5/35 with 121* how often do you see that on a score card ?? Opps you guys are looking at the wrong score card......Aust A , is exactly that the Australian 2nd XI !

  • Percy_Fender on November 19, 2010, 11:59 GMT

    It all seems unreal to me. Usually in the run up to the Gabba Test, one only got to read of the mauling all visiting teams were being subjected to by unknown players from Queensland and New South Wales. This time England with either the first team or their second one have won nearly everything. It looks too good but that is the way the game goes. West Indies towered over evryone else for nearly a decade and a half and Australia were no different for nearly the same length. When things go wrong they seem hopelessly so as it seems to be in Australia now. But like we are seeing a resurgence of the West Indies in Sri Lanka I get the impression that Australia is in a spot of bother. With Hussey having hit a hundred in a Sheffield game and Johnson having got a five for, things seem to be looking up slightly. For the good of the game I hope the prologue leading up the Ashes story was just an aberration and that the series is a memorable one.With all the hype about the Ashes we deserve better.

  • on November 19, 2010, 12:03 GMT

    @seagrip: There is an issue with your analysis in that Test cricket is a subset of FC cricket. Which means that Hilfenhaus' Test averages are included in his FC averages. McDonald, on the other hand, has not played the 13 bowling-average-increasing Tests that Hilfenhaus has, he's played 4. Hilfenhaus' State Cricket average is 28.87 . McDonald's is 29.05. That's slightly in favour of Hilfenhaus. Similarly , Siddle's is 24.96 vs McKay's 24.91 , marginally in favour of McKay , but nothing compared to what you made it out to be. There's not so much quality left in Australian cricket any more , but it's only a matter of time . I feel that the selectors are right to persevere with Hilfenhaus and Siddle , Hilfenhaus is one of the most talented swing bowlers in the world and Siddle is an in-your-face, tough sort of bowler who is imperative for the national side at this time.

  • Okakaboka on November 19, 2010, 13:20 GMT

    Well.....It appears this group of Shield matches and the Australia A game have indicated the test selectors stuffed up......just as nearly all us armchair experts and bloggers have been saying. A further well done to Hilditch.....You idiot.....McDonald has broken his hand...our one in -form batsman! If he had been selected in the test team (WHICH HE SHOULD HAVE!!!!!), he probably would have been sitting out this game and wouldn't have had his hand broken. We could further suggest that this may contribute to Australia losing the Ashes. What I can't understand is why everyone calls Hauriz an off spinner.....I never see the ball spin....it goes straight...he's a straight spinner..unless the ball hits a bump on the pitch or something. Smith is a straight spinner too.

  • 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..