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England score! Launch campaign in style

The tourists skittled out CCI XI for a paltry 75 in the second innings to romp to a crushing 238-run win in the three-day warm up game.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2006 19:46 IST
Reuters
Reuters
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England skittled out CCI President's XI for a paltry 75 in the second innings to romp to a crushing 238-run victory in the three-day warm up game at the Brabourne Stadium on Monday

Marcus Trescothick got among the runs with a fluent 88 and Ian Blackwell reinforced his batting prowess with a belligerent 59 before the bowlers came good to bundle out the hosts in just 26.2 overs in the fourth innings on the final day.

Coach Duncan Fletcher said he was pleased with the way the team's preparations had gone so far and the victory was a bonus since that was not what the visitors had aimed for in the tour opener.

"Very satisfying. Honestly, we did not go into the match looking for a win. The approach to the warm up game was give the batters and bowlers as much time as possible at the crease," Fletcher said after the match.

Trescothick, having stayed back at the hotel on the first day due to viral infection, hit form with an innings that lasted around three hours during when he faced 128 balls and hit 11 fours and two sixes.

Blackwell struck six fours and four sixes during his 73-ball knock that should pose selection problems for Fletcher.

England have to decide on the spinner's slot and Blackwell should be the favourite because of he can fill the number eight position as batsman cum bowler.

But Monty Panesar, whose batting is not on par with Blackwell, also impressed with his bowling. Both the left-arm spinners picked two wickets each in CCI's second essay.

Fletcher said the decision on who to play as spinner, or even two spinners, would be decided after the next three-day game against a Board President's XI at Baroda from February 23 to 25.

He said it would be foolhardy to think that the players had come to terms with the playing conditions after a couple of practice games.

"How do we know? In Pakistan we had a greentop up front. And if we are talking about heat, we would be moving up north where it could be colder," he said.

The players were still coming to terms with the tough conditions of the subcontinent. Paul Collingwood was rested after he had back spasm yesterday but Fletcher said he was close to being back to normal.

The visitors also could not try out Matt Prior behind the stumps as he too had a back problem and remained indoors for the last two days.

The local outfit had a reality check after the second day's exploits when, although they fell short of the England first innings total, impressed with their bold batting against the England quicks.

Hiken Shah was the top scorer with 21 and only two other batsmen touched double figures.

Brief scores:

England: 299 and 265 all out in 61.5 overs (M Trescothick 88, I Blackwell 59; A Redkar 3-64, H Bachhani 2-29) beat CCI President's XI 251 and 75 all out in 26.2 overs (H Shah 21, S Jones 2-9, M Panesar 2-15, S Harmison 2-3, I Blackwell 2-0).

First Published: Feb 20, 2006 16:49 IST