Ashes 2013-14: England spin their way to a draw ahead of second Test

Chairman’s XI v England, tour match, Traeger Park Oval, second day

Alice Springs

Spinners took seven of the eight wickets for England yesterday in the outback. It offered the inviting prospect that the tourists might speculate to accumulate and play both Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar in the second Test which starts on Thursday in Adelaide.

The quality of opposition will be different as will be the pitch and surroundings but on a day when all three seam bowlers failed to prosper, it left the tourists with much to ponder. There were four wickets for Swann who profited from the willingness of the batsmen to attack him and three for Panesar in his first outing of the tour.

Whether such a friendly contest can be used as a yardstick by which to measure Test candidates is doubtful but then the selectors have little else to judge by. Both Steve Finn and Boyd Rankin largely innocuous and occasionally treated with disdain by inexperienced batsmen.

The match ended in a draw after 15 overs of England’s second innings. The Chairman’s XI called a halt to their innings at 254 for 8, a lead of 42, after England batted on the first day.

It took until the 27th over for England to take their first wicket as Marcus Harris played a sequence of resounding stokes and Steve Cazzulino defended stoutly. Harris is having a good winter against England, having made 69 and 22 against them in Perth in the opening warm-up match of the tour.

Wickets fell regularly thereafter but there was never the remotest chance of a result other than a draw.

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