England ease to warm up victory

Click to follow
The Independent Online

England today completed a second comfortable win over a BCB XI in Fatullah, with half-centuries for captain Alastair Cook and Matt Prior seeing the tourists home after a disciplined display in the field.

Team director Andy Flower shuffled his bowling options for the match, recalling Ryan Sidebottom and Tim Bresnan, and was rewarded as his side picked up regular wickets to restrict the home side to 151 for eight in a rain-shortened innings of 37 overs.

The target was reached with 7.4 overs remaining as Cook retired with 52, a second consecutive half-century since taking the captaincy, and Prior (64no) guided England over the line.

There was another failure for Kevin Pietersen though.

He was promoted to opener after he picked up a poor lbw decision in Tuesday's match to bag a golden duck, but made just six before being caught at slip.

Cook, meanwhile, is showing signs of renewed confidence in limited-overs cricket and his 51-ball innings contained eight fours and a slog-swept six.

Prior's knock was also an important one, with Craig Kieswetter being handed the wicketkeeping gloves for the first time.

Having been overshadowed by Kieswetter's startling rise to prominence in recent weeks, Prior perhaps needed to provide a reminder of his own batting talents.

But he did so, finding the ropes with nine of the 56 deliveries he faced.

Eoin Morgan fell for nine after being bowled by Mahmudul Hasan reverse-sweeping, but Luke Wright ensured there would be no collapse, ending with a quickfire 20no, including a maximum of his own.

Earlier England had done well in the field, with Sidebottom, Bresnan and James Tredwell picking up two wickets apiece.

Yorkshire-born duo Sidebottom and Bresnan opened the bowling for England and soon set about dismantling the BCB top order.

First Bresnan had Siddique caught by Tredwell with just 14 on the board, then Sidebottom claimed the scalp of Test cap Shahriar Nafees, held by Pietersen for eight.

Aftab Ahmed (12) came to the crease swinging, hitting a four and a six before Bresnan had him caught behind by Kieswetter.

Imtiaz Hossain lasted just two balls before being trapped leg before by Sidebottom as the BCB limped to 36 for four.

Raqibul Hasan hung around for 39 balls for his 19 before Liam Plunkett provided Kieswetter with a second catch.

Cook next brought spinner Tredwell into the attack and soon reaped his reward.

The Kent man has plenty to prove if he is to play a significant part on the tour but he went the right way about it here, dismissing Mahmudul for 15 and following up with Mashrafe Mortaza for a duck.

Tanveer Haider and Alauddin Babu put on a game partnership of 55 for the eighth wicket before Ajmal Shahzad ended the fun.

He accounted for Haider, caught by Cook after a sensible 35, but Babu persevered, his 43no taking just 52 balls and including five boundaries.