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Last Updated: Friday, 10 November 2006, 06:12 GMT
Dismal England thrashed in opener
Tour match, Canberra: Prime Minister's XI 347-5 (50 overs) bt England 181 (38.4 overs) by 166 runs

Andrew Strauss was England's top scorer but he too gave his wicket away
Strauss impressed before giving his wicket away as England slumped
England began their tour of Australia with an embarrassing 166-run defeat by a Prime Minister's XI in Canberra.

Poor bowling and fielding allowed Phil Jaques (112) and Shaun Marsh (78no) to help the hosts rack up 347-5, although skipper Andrew Flintoff (1-55) shone.

But Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen failed with the bat and only Andrew Strauss, who hit 67, looked in decent touch.

The tourists folded for 181 in 38.4 overs and need to improve significantly before the first Test on 23 November.

Pietersen was again found wanting against the short ball and the way he fell to Ben Hilfenhaus will have been noted by the Aussies.

In fact, the only good news for England ahead of the opener in Brisbane is, surely, they cannot play worse than they did at the Manuka Oval.

I'm not going to get too despondent

Andrew Flintoff

Apart from Strauss' innings, the only plus point was Flintoff's bowling.

After sending down only five overs for his country since ankle surgery in June, he bowled a full stint and was right on target early on.

He had his reward when Tim Paine was brilliantly caught by wicket-keeper Geraint Jones, while left-arm spinner Ashley Giles took a wicket in his first over after a year out following hip surgery.

But his rustiness was seized on by the hungry home side, which was packed with Test hopefuls, while Sajid Mahmood was even more expensive (1-97 off nine overs) on a good batting surface.

Andrew Flintoff bowled impressively early on in the one-dayer in Canberra
Flintoff bowled impressively early on in the one-dayer in Canberra

There were a catalogue of errors in the field - none more costly than the regulation chance missed by Jones off James Anderson when Jaques was on 21.

The opener pushed his own claims for a place at the Gabba for the Aussies by taking full advantage of some poor bowling to hit nine fours and two sixes, reaching his century off exactly 100 balls.

Marsh and Adam Voges should have been run out but survived to join Cameron White in unleashing a barrage of big shots late on as the last 10 overs went for 112.

White crashed three mighty sixes in his 30 off only 13 balls and Marsh - son of ex-Australia batsman Geoff - ended the innings with another big maximum.

Shell-shocked by that finale, Marcus Trescothick pushed lazily at Tait's sixth ball and was snapped up by White at second slip, while Alastair Cook mis-timed a pull off Hilfenhaus.

606: DEBATE
BC

Strauss responded with some blistering strokeplay square on either side of the wicket to twice pick up three boundaries in an over off Hilfenhaus as he reached 50 in 49 balls.

Paul Collingwood also played positively and seized on any error before sending a slog-sweep straight to Jaques at deep mid-wicket.

Pietersen's discomfort against the short ball was again in evidence as he and Strauss mis-timed pulls and Flintoff was comprehensively bowled by a full delivery from Shaun Tait (3-21).

Giles could have been out lbw first ball to a similar ball before a fine piece of fielding from White ran him out.

Mahmood provided some late defiance with big sixes off Adam Ritchard and White but it was scant consolation and when the tail was mopped up, England went off to put on their thinking caps.

ENGLAND PLAYER PROFILES

 

AUSTRALIA PLAYER PROFILES

 

SEE ALSO
Flintoff upbeat despite hammering
10 Nov 06 |  The Ashes
PM's XI v England photos
09 Nov 06 |  The Ashes
Ashes venues guide
11 Oct 06 |  The Ashes
BBC Ashes coverage 2006/07
01 Nov 06 |  The Ashes
BBC Ashes archive
02 Nov 06 |  The Ashes
England in Australia 2006/07
15 Dec 05 |  Future tour dates


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