Ballance And Seamers Fail To Impress In Perth

Chris Tremlett sitting on a box
Chris Tremlett still has work to do ahead of the first Test.
©REUTERS/Philip Brown. Picture Supplied by Action Images

WA Chairman’s XI 451-5d & 168-5 drew with
England XI 391 (Bell 115ret, Trott 113no)
Tour Match, WACA

Those England players auditioning for an Ashes Test place have done little to enhance their claims over the past three days in Perth.

Gary Ballance and Ben Stokes both fell without overly troubling the scorers on the final day, while the three beanpole seamers, apparently fighting for a single starting place, are hardly banging the door down with their contributions.

All of Boyd Rankin, Steven Finn and Chris Tremlett gave the impression that they are still someway short of Test readiness, although were probably a little better than on day one. Tremlett and Rankin opened the bowling as James Anderson was saved for the bigger challenges ahead. Rankin did remove both openers in his first spell and has perhaps marginally looked the best of the bunch thus far.

Finn came on second change and did pick up a couple of wickets, but he remained expensive, while Ben Stokes only bowled four overs. Chris Lynn and Mitchell Marsh were the Western Australians who posed the most problems, adding exactly 100 for the third-wicket and both passing 50 as their side ended the match on 168 for five in their second innings.

England had earlier collapsed from their overnight 270 for two to be bowled out for 391. Ian Bell retired shortly after completing his century, with England perhaps living to regret the decision as the last eight wickets folded for just 61 runs.

Ryan Duffield accounted for both Ballance (0) and Matt Prior (4), while Jim Allenby dispatched much of the lower-order en route to figures of four for 58. He had Stokes caught behind for just four and then dismissed half of England’s ridiculously weak tail. Michael Beer picked up the other two and finished with two for 87 from 28 overs.

England will, of course, argue that getting players slowly acclimatised to conditions is precisely what warm-up matches are for and that today's moderately improved second innings showing proves that things are heading the right direction.

© Cricket World 2013

Fixtures & Results

21st-25th November: 1st Test, Gabba, Brisbane
AUS 295 & 401-7d. beat ENG 136 & 179 by 381 runs
5th-9th December: 2nd Test, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
AUS 570-9d & 132-3d beat ENG 172 & 312 by 218 runs
13th-17th December: 3rd Test, WACA, Perth
AUS 385 & 369-8 d. beat ENG 251 & 353 by 150 runs
26th-30th December: 4th Test, MCG, Melbourne
AUS 204 & 231-2 beat ENG 255 & 179 by 8 wickets
3rd-7th January: 5th Test, SCG, Sydney
AUS 326 & 274 beat ENG 155 & 166 by 281 runs