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Alastair Cook finds form, Mark Stoneman slams ton in England’s Ashes warm-up tie

Alastair Cook’s 70 and Mark Stoneman’s 111 propelled England cricket team to 337/3 at the close of the second day of their four-day Ashes tour match against Cricket Australia XI.

cricket Updated: Nov 16, 2017 16:45 IST
Omnisport
Omnisport
Omnisport, Townsville
Alastair Cook,Mark Stoneman,The Ashes
Alastair Cook and Mark Stoneman’s (R) 172-run partnership has put England cricket team on top against Cricket Australia XI in final Ashes warm-up tie. (AFP)

Alastair Cook made some much-needed runs as Mark Stoneman posted England’s first century of their Australia tour on the second day of their final warm-up match before the Ashes.

Cook, who had scored just 47 runs in three innings on the tour, compiled a fine 70 against a Cricket Australia XI at Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville on Thursday.

(Read | Ashes 2017-18: Shane Bond talks up Craig Overton for Gabba Test debut)

His opening partner Stoneman produced an even better knock, making 111 as England reached 337-3 at stumps, in response to the CA XI’s 250.

Stoneman was particularly aggressive early, bring up his half-century off just 66 balls.

He slowed as his innings went on, ending up with 13 boundaries in an effort that boosted England’s batting line-up ahead of the first Test against Australia beginning in Brisbane in a week’s time.

(Read | Nathan Lyon backs struggling Matt Renshaw for Ashes 2017-18 berth)

Cook and Stoneman put on 172 for the first wicket, but James Vince (26) was unable to capitalise on his start.

England captain Joe Root looked comfortable and was unbeaten on 62 at stumps, alongside Dawid Malan (57 not out).

Daniel Fallins (2-71) and Matthew Short (1-57) took CA XI’s wickets.

The time in the middle, and a century from one of the top six, was just what the tourists needed after being dismissed for 293 and 207 in their previous meeting with the CA XI in Adelaide.

The CA XI’s first innings lasted just nine balls into day two as they were dismissed for 250, with Stuart Broad (2-29) taking another wicket.

First Published: Nov 16, 2017 14:07 IST