Ashes 2013-14: England warm up for first real Test with a seven wicket win over Australia XI

Australia XI v England, tour match, SCG, fourth day

England eased their way to a seven wicket victory on Saturday in the final match before the Ashes. It was exactly the result they required to send them to Brisbane for the start of the Ashes with a spring in their step, if not quite a song in their heart.

Not all their work against the invitation XI cobbled together by Cricket Australia was impeccable but over four days and four innings they were much too powerful and imposing for their opponents.

The CA team took their overnight 153 for 4 to 261 all out today, leaving the tourists with 148 to win. It was done more or less in regulation order, only an impending thunderstorm over Sydney putting it at risk. Just before the skies broke, Ian Bell launched a six over extra cover to bring the scores level and then late dabbed a four. He finished on 33no with Jonathan Trott unbeaten on 38.

In the opposition second innings, Steve Finn and Boyd Rankin each finished with three wickets without making anything like a persuasive case for selection for the First Test which begins at the Gabba on Thursday. Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann both looked to have found their touch by the end of the innings, as if they had done just enough bowling to be ready for a gruelling Test campaign.

Broad took 2-32 in 16 overs, an object lesson for his fast bowling colleagues, and Swann’s 2-69 from 27 was sufficient to make him match honed.

The success of England’s pursuit was never in doubt and although they found themselves in something of a minor pickle against the 20-year-old leg spinner James Muirhead the target was always within reach. After Alastair Cook was deceived by a ball turning him which he tried to cut, Michael Carberry completed a handsome fifty.

Carberry has yet to fail in any match in tour with scores 78 in Perth, 153no in Hobart and 5 and 50 in Sydney. He fell to Muuirhead, miscuing a pull.

Although Kevin Pietersen was bowled aiming an errant drive that mattered not a jot in the context of the Test. The job was finished by Trott and Bell with 16.2 overs in hand. It was a proper work out in a decent warm-up.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor