(Reuters) – England made a poor start to their Australia tour yesterday with their fancied bowling attack forced to toil by a second-string Western Australia Chairman’s XI at Perth.
With most of their frontline players busy on Sheffield Shield duty, the local team was expected to roll over for the tourists but their top order powered them to 369 for four at stumps on the opening day of the three-day practice match.
After Luke Towers (77) and Marcus Harris (69) put together a strong 115-run opening stand, Chris Lynn (104) and Mitchell Marsh (58) built on the foundation as all top four batsmen posted half centuries.
Lynn, dropped on 68 by Chris Tremlett off Joe Root, hit 16 boundaries and a six in his 124-ball knock.
Jim Allenby (34) and Ashton Turner (17) will return today hoping to further frustrate the tourists.
Apart from James Anderson (1-31), who had Harris caught by Ian Bell at gully, none of the English bowlers could pose much trouble to the batsmen.
Tremlett and Steve Finn bowled without success while Boyd Ranking did take one wicket as none of the trio could really press their case to join Anderson and Stuart Broad as England’s third paceman in the first Ashes test in Brisbane on Nov 21.
England rested skipper Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann and Broad for the match, putting Matt Prior in charge of the team.