England's workers delight Fletcher

Duncan Fletcher, the England coach, described his squad as the hardest-working tourists he has ever encountered after yesterday's ICC Knockout Trophy warm-up match here which finished in a tie against Australia.

Duncan Fletcher, the England coach, described his squad as the hardest-working tourists he has ever encountered after yesterday's ICC Knockout Trophy warm-up match here which finished in a tie against Australia.

A perfect preparation game was spoiled for England only by an untimely calf injury to their left-arm spinner, Ashley Giles, who will now have an anxious 24-hour wait to discover how serious his injury is.

Fletcher, however, had seen much to please him in advance of England's opening match against Bangladesh tomorrow. The England top order all made useful contributions to their team's 236 after Australia had reached the same score for the loss of nine wickets in the 14-a-side 50-over match at the Simba Union ground. "I think this has been a very good practice match - it has proved very worthwhile," Fletcher said. "All the bowlers had a good bowl and all the batters had a decent spell in the middle."

It is England's willingness to put in the hours in the nets and in training, though, that is most pleasing to Fletcher. "They all really do have a good attitude. I have never been involved with a team who have put in such a lot of hard work at the start of a tour," he said.

England's hard work under Fletcher has already paid off with a successful summer against West Indies and Zimbabwe and they look capable of continuing that form on the evidence of yesterday's showing against the team who they will play in the Ashes next summer and who were in no mood to relax against their old enemies - even in a warm-up game.

Andrew Caddick started well for England, producing an accurate opening spell of 2 for 19 in seven overs. But, after Giles had limped off having taken a smart return catch to dismiss Michael Bevan, Australia got away from England while their captain, Steve Waugh, was at the crease - and he looked in ominous form during his 39-ball 50 before he retired his innings. Damien Martyn (70) also impressed for Australia to provide the backbone of a useful total on a very slow pitch.

England's reply got off to a good start thanks to Marcus Trescothick, who had played the dominant role in an opening partnership of 45 in just nine overs with Alec Stewart when he clipped a ball from Brett Lee straight to the bowler's namesake Shane at backward square-leg to depart for 27.

Stewart went on to make England's top score of 38, before he followed the gentle turn of Mark Higgs' left-arm spin to be caught behind. It seemed England might pay for the lack of a major innings, with the captain Nasser Hussain, Graham Thorpe and Graeme Hick all losing their wickets when they appeared set.

In the absence of the rested Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee's extra pace proved Australia's most potent weapon and brought him 3 for 51.

However, after England had batted right down the order to put themselves in position to win in the final over, Andrew Symonds' part-time off-spin took two wickets in two balls to tie the match with two balls to spare. He trapped Mark Alleyne lbw and then Caddick fell to the last in a series of outstanding catches from the Australians when Brett Lee clung on one-handed at square-leg.

WARM-UP MATCH (Nairobi): Australia 236 for 9 (D R Martyn 70, M E Waugh 50; A R Caddick 2-19) England 236 (A J Stewart 38; A Symonds 3-16, B Lee 3-51) Match tied.

* The resumption of public hearings into match-fixing allegations against the former South African captain Hansie Cronje has been delayed until November as officials await new information from India.

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