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November 20, 2010
England XI 523 and 0 for 11 beat Australia A 230 and 301 (White 111, Hughes 81, Bresnan 4-86, Panesar 3-63, Tremlett 3-67) by 10 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Cameron White made a consolation century but Australia A could not prevent England completing a morale-boosting 10-wicket victory five days before the first Ashes Test. Monty Panesar and Chris Tremlett collected three wickets each and, combined with Tim Bresnan's four, ensured that all of England's backup bowlers have found some form in their only match of the tour.
Panesar was wicketless for the first three days but made three breakthroughs in quick succession, just when White and Steve O'Keefe were threatening to keep England in the field all day. They had put on 78 for the seventh wicket until the stand ended with O'Keefe (27) caught at mid-off when he miscued a drive off Panesar, who leapt in joy.
There were more celebrations soon after, when he had White caught behind for 111 trying a hefty slog-sweep and two balls later Mark Cameron lbw for a duck. An innings victory was on the cards until Peter George and Clint McKay (19 not out) pushed the score along just enough to make England bat again, chasing nine runs after George was caught at mid-off against Bresnan.
Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss needed only nine balls to complete the win. The result means England will head to the Gabba confident in virtually all facets of their game. Ian Bell and Paul Collingwood made good runs in Hobart, while Cook and Strauss also have centuries on the tour, and the frontline bowlers are already in Brisbane adjusting to the conditions. The backups will be ready to go should the opportunity arise.
Bresnan finished with 4 for 86, but it was Tremlett and Panesar who did most of the damage on the final day. Tremlett collected three in eight balls before lunch, starting with Phillip Hughes, who on Friday evening had spoken of his aim to bat as long as possible to halt the momentum England were building. Hughes added 23 to his overnight score and on 81, slashed hard outside off and was well taken by Strauss at first slip.
Tim Paine didn't last long and was lbw for 2, which brought Steven Smith to the crease. Smith should have been buoyant after being confirmed as part of Australia's trimmed 13-man squad for the Gabba Test, but he had no chance to capitalise on his happy mood when he departed first ball, shouldering arms to Tremlett.
The delivery jagged back in from a good length and collected Smith's off stump, leaving Tremlett on a hat-trick. O'Keefe drove the hat-trick ball to mid-off, and then set up camp with White, whose century was a reminder to the national selectors that they need not only consider Usman Khawaja and Callum Ferguson if a spare batsman is required during the Ashes.
White's controlled hundred came from 158 balls, with a drive through mid-off for two. He played four Tests in India in 2008 as a frontline spinner, but if he is to add to that tally it will be as a batsman. The fate of White, like most of the Australia A men in this game, rests on how the first team performs when the real stuff begins on Thursday. One thing is sure: England are in form.
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at CricinfoFeeds: Brydon Coverdale
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