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England struggle against Cricket Australia XI in final Ashes 2017-18 warm-up game

Jason Sangha and Matthew Short both scored hundreds as England were held to a draw by Cricket Australia in their final warm-up encounter ahead of the Ashes 2017-18 series.

cricket Updated: Nov 18, 2017 14:20 IST
Cricket Australia XI vs England,Cricket Australia,England cricket team
Cricket Australia XI batsman Jason Sangha celebrates his century against England in the Ashes 2017-18 warm-up encounter.(AFP)

England endured a frustrating final day in their last tour match before the Ashes 2017-18 series, taking just one wicket to draw with a Cricket Australia XI on Saturday.

The tourists looked on track to head into the first Test after back-to-back wins, but they were forced to toil in Townsville. Only Mason Crane (2-97) was able to grab a wicket on Day 4 of the encounter as Matthew Short (134 not out) and Jason Sangha (133) starred for the CA XI.

Short, 22, and Sangha, 18, put on a 263-run partnership for the fourth wicket as the hosts reached 364-4 – a lead of 99 runs – in their second innings.

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Sangha became the second youngest player to score a first-class century against England, behind only the great Sachin Tendulkar.

Worryingly for England, they created few opportunities, although Mark Stoneman did drop Sangha early in the day.

Moeen Ali finished with figures of 2-88 – both of his wickets taken on day three, with England having reduced the CA XI to 121-3 heading into Saturday.

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But Stuart Broad (0-40), Chris Woakes (0-50) and Craig Overton (0-65) were unable to make breakthroughs.

While James Anderson will return for next week’s first Test in Brisbane, the final day was a worry for England.

Short and Sangha had played just five first-class matches between them heading into this tour match, and both notched their maiden centuries. The highlight of the day in the field may have come thanks to a groundsman, who took a diving catch from a Short six.

First Published: Nov 18, 2017 13:03 IST