WA Chairman's XI v England XI, Tour match, Perth, 2nd day November 1, 2013

Bell, Carberry seize chance to show form

Brad Elborough in Perth

England XI 2 for 270 (Carberry 78, Bell 77*) trail Western Australia Chairman's XI (Turner 62*) 5 for 451 dec. by 181 runs

Ian Bell wasted no time in hitting his straps in Australia, resuming where he left off in the previous Ashes, and Michael Carberry seized on the chance afforded to him by Alastair Cook's absence as England put up a solid display in their first innings of the tour.

Bell closed the second day at the WACA unbeaten on 77 with Jonathan Trott on 64 as England reached 2 for 270. The warm-up is heading for a draw as England trail Western Australia by 181 runs after the home side declared in the day's first session at 5 for 451.

Bell was quickly back into the form that saw him named Man of the Series in the Ashes in England and Carberry demonstrated that England have a competent opener should they need to make a change at the top of the order.

While Carberry grasped the opportunity to make runs on a good batting wicket, Joe Root, yet to convince as an opener in Test cricket, missed out. He is the only batsman dismissed in the game so far not to reach a half-century.

Each of the five WA batsmen dismissed in their innings made it to at least 50, highlighted by Chris Lynn's entertaining 104. But Root managed only 36 from 60 deliveries before he was trapped lbw by Glamorgan allrounder Jim Allenby.

Root shared in a 100-run opening stand with Carberry, who was the more aggressive of the pair. Carberry made 78 before he slashed at a short and wide delivery from spinner Ashton Turner and was caught by Allenby at backward point.

Carberry, 33, has played just one Test for England, against Bangladesh in 2010 and is thought unlikely to start the Ashes barring injury. But finding form will put pressure on Root - who was recently awarded a central contract - to deliver as well as put another name in the mix for the middle order. He still has a possible two further four-day games, in Hobart and Sydney, to spend some time in the middle before the first Ashes Test starts in Brisbane on November 21.

But it was Bell who again suggested he could be the key to England's chances of claiming a fourth consecutive Ashes series for the first time since 1890.

He enjoys playing against Australia. In the recent Ashes series in England he was the difference between the two sides, leading the scoring with 562 runs at an average of 62.44. In the 2010-11 series in Australia, he was also crucial to the tourists' success, scoring 329 runs in six innings, at an impressive average of 65.80. Only Cook (766 runs at 127.66) and Trott (445 at 89.00) averaged more in that series.

Trott was in no hurry in his first innings on tour, bringing up his 50 in 101 balls, compared to Bell, who took only 71 deliveries to bring up his half-century.

After turning six starts into just two half-centuries against Australia in England this year, Trott appears keen to spend as much time in the middle in the lead up to the Test series to help improve on his tally of 293 runs that he contributed the last time the two sides met.

After Bell bought up his milestone he belted former Australia spinner Michael Beer and Turner for big sixes. He looked comfortable at the crease from the first ball and hit two fours in the first over he faced and was confident in leaving balls alone that were passing close by his stumps.

WA were hampered by the loss of opening bowler Burt Cockley, who left the ground half-way through his third over with a knee injury. He wasn't the only fielder from the home side forced from the ground, after keeper Tom Triffitt was hit in the face by a ball from Beer that appeared to bounce unexpectedly high. He required six stitches.

England's bowlers had earlier struggled for a second consecutive day, managing to take only one more wicket before WA declared. The hosts added 82 runs to their overnight score in 18 overs with Turner unbeaten on 62, meaning that each of WA's top 6 batsmen made half centuries.

Allenby took his overnight 34 to 53 before he was trapped lbw by Steven Finn in the 10th over of the day, Finn's first. Unfortunately, it failed to inspire Finn, who bowled five overs for 36 runs, finishing with 1 for 123 from 23 overs in the innings. But he will still consider himself very much in the mix for the vacant fast bowling position in the Brisbane Test, as his competition was not much more impressive.

Chris Tremlett took up the attack this morning and bowled only four over for 17 runs, while Boyd Rankin's final contribution was 1 for 92 from 20 overs.

James Anderson was easily the pick of the England attack, conceding only 55 runs in 23 overs, bowling nine maidens. But he managed just one wicket on a deck that is offering the bowlers little.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on November 2, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    @ jmcilhinney on (November 2, 2013, 5:21 GMT) I disagree re the declaration. The number 6 spot is still up for grabs and had they not even looked at Ballance or Stokes then they'd have had no further clues. Both failed so I suppose they are no nearer but at least both had an opportunity. Now we have a dilemma in do we have a further look at the current candidates and try and squeeze them in a head to head with JB at the possible expense of not giving our regular batsmen time in the middle. Looks a poor all round display so far. Whether it is a sign of things to come who knows? But you'd rather start the tour on a positive note.

    PS Onions not in the squad already looks a terrible move to me. Also despite a scratchy 1st test I'd have had the other Oakes in there

  • Dummy4 on November 2, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    Moeen Ali should've been in the team instead of Ballance. 1331 runs this season, left handed and can bowl good off spin

  • W on November 2, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    At FFL, I think you spoke too soon. 3 players got runs (one who isn't even in the test team), the rest failed (again) and you trail a WA 2nd 11 by eons LOL. The caper is up, you can't sit on your pedestal anymore! How bout you post cricket comments we can discuss rather than ugly smears? Anyhow, Bell was sublime as usual, we really need to find a way to dismiss him! Aussies, don't get too carried away yet though the early sings are good with so many of our best 11 potentials in form. I guess it is one advantage that we are in season playing cricket already. England will shake off the jetlag though.

  • Hamish on November 2, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    @villageblacksmith, that's because Shield teams are only allowed to have one international player. There's a reason Broad and Bell played Aus grade cricket - because of the Shield rules, not to do with how accommodating one country is with opposition players. And Worcestershire (not Middlesex) had Hughes because they wanted an international batsmen, not to give him match practise in England...

  • James on November 2, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    @jmcilhinney: Good points, Prior should have declared after trott got to a hundred and he got out.

  • Murray on November 2, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    @ Trickstar

    Thanks :) I normally don't even receive mildly amusing plaudits....... but OF Course I'm trying to talk our chances up ! I don't have ball by ball data handy to show what I perceive as a weakness in Bell against Australian leg spinners in tests. If you don't perceive that weakness fair enough..... but for me, working out something to try on the oppositions best player makes sense ?

  • John on November 2, 2013, 5:21 GMT

    This has been a very poor display from England. Some poor bowling, some poor batting and now some poor captaincy. I'm not sure whether it's Prior's decision or Cook's and Flower's but what exactly is the point of England batting on after lunch? Trott's not going to gain anything further and the England tail-enders need to be bowling, not batting. Finn, Tremlett and Rankin are all competing for one bowling spot, which none of them did anything to earn in the first innings, and now they are being denied the opportunity to make amends for that. Ballance and Stokes were also competing for a possible batting spot and both have done themselves no favours here either. The only man who has improved his prospects is Carberry and he's a real long shot to play the first Test.

  • Murray on November 2, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    @ JG2704 on (November 1, 2013, 16:46 GMT). Agree with what you say. I (knowling being Australian and optimistic) see potential problems in England's squad balance (until Bresnan is playing well). I think England would like to see Carberry do well in leadup ( lol everyone of course, but especially) near as much as they'd have liked to see Stokes score runs or Prior dominate with the bat. I expect they'd like (whether they'll need it or not) a solid 5th bowling option in the tests. I don't think that a second RH finger spinner helps much, but is a possibility.

  • James on November 2, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    This goes to show there is enough in the pitch if the bowlers are good enough, the WACA is a good cricket wicket. Bell was always going to be hard to dislodge with the form he is in, and trott is dangerous when in form and he seems to be finding it. Other than that, this Eng side is in the gun, on the verge of being bowled out here...

  • James on November 2, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    And the penny drops. England struggling past Trott and Bell. Havn't seen much of ballance besides his record but everytime i have seen him he gets a duck. Prior's poor form continues....England are over the hill.

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