England XI 260 for 6 (Vaughan 89, Strauss 73, Collingwood 31*) beat Namibia 193 for 4 (Keulder 57, Karg 66, Giles 3-37) by 67 runs
Michael Vaughan led from the front as his England XI recorded a comfortable 67-run victory in the first match of their southern African tour, against Namibia at the Wanderers ground in Windhoek. In a match reduced to 42 overs a side after a two-hour mopping-up delay, Vaughan's 89 lifted England to 260 for 6. Namibia made a spirited reply, but could manage only 193.
Much of the pre-match hype had been about the possibility of Sussex's Matt Prior opening for England, but in the end it was Ian Bell who strode out with Vikram Solanki. And he was soon striding back, bowled by Gerrie Snyman for a duck (3 for 1). Solanki made 28 before he fell to Sarel Burger (6 for 2), then Vaughan and Andrew Strauss put the world to rights with a stand of 150, Vaughan making 89 from 92 balls before his dismissal at 215 triggered a mini-collapse in which three wickets went down for two runs. Strauss followed for a solid 73 from only 65 balls, then Geraint Jones was caught behind off Snyman for a single.
Kevin Pietersen's long-awaited first innings in England colours didn't last long: he made only 5 before being trapped in front by Louis Burger. That made it 226 for 6, but a sensible partnership between Paul Collingwood and Ashley Giles swelled the total to 260.
Last year at Port Elizabeth Namibia briefly threatened to embarrass England in the World Cup - for a while they were ahead on run rate as rain threatened - but on another changeable day (a helicopter was used to help dry the ground before the start) England's batsmen had done enough to ensure a winning start to their tour.
England's bowling, though, will worry the management a little more. Only Ashley Giles, who took three of the first four wickets, will be entirely satusfied with his figures, which were 3 for 37 from nine overs. Simon Jones removed Namibia's former captain, Danie Keulder, for an accomplished 57, but the main strike force of Darren Gough, James Anderson and Alex Wharf went wicketless.
Morne Karg, usually a wicketkeeper but playing as a batsman today, top-scored with a breezy 66 before becoming Giles's third victim. England's eventual victory was easy enough, but they will be looking for an improved bowling performance in their second warm-up match against Namibia on Tuesday, before the five-match one-day series against Zimbabwe starts on Friday (Nov 26).