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Page last updated at 07:29 GMT, Friday, 19 November 2010

Ashes: Ian Bell and Tim Bresnan shine for England

Tour match, Hobart (day three of four):
Australia A 230 & 128-3 v England 523
Dates: 17-20 November Start time: 2330 GMT (16-19 Nov)
Coverage: Live scorecard on BBC Sport website & Ceefax; regular bulletins on BBC Radio 5 live; also live on Sky Sports 1
Match scorecard


Bresnan hoping for Ashes chance

Ian Bell hit a majestic 192 before England were all out for 523 on day three of the final warm-up match ahead of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.

Bell, 121 overnight, batted for six hours in all before Australia A reached 128-3 in their second innings, still trailing by 165 with a day to go.

Tim Bresnan, who hit 36 in a stand of 80 with Bell for the eighth wicket, first removed Ed Cowan for 33.

He then got rid of Test hopefuls Usman Khawaja (0) and Callum Ferguson (10).

On a sunny day in Hobart, in contrast to the showery, chilly conditions that had greeted the players for the first half of the match, Bell continued where he had left off on Thursday with some sparkling strokeplay.

Hughes impressed with England momentum

His 275-ball innings included 22 fours and a six, expert timing and placement and just the occasional error as he tired late on.

He dominated a sixth-wicket stand of 240 with Collingwood (89), the latter adding only 15 to his overnight 74.

Collingwood was struck on the helmet by a Clint McKay bouncer and two balls later an unbalanced, front-footed pull ended only in an edge behind.

After a breezy 27, Matt Prior also went in disappointing fashion when he aimed a big hit over mid-on at Steve Smith and miscued the shot, hitting slightly against the spin, to be caught at point.

On the verge of a maiden double-hundred for his country, Bell picked out short extra-cover with a drive off Smith. It was belated and minor revenge for the leg-spinner who had been severely punished by Bell on day two.

England's tailenders took their cue to inflict further damage - pressing on past 500, with a barrage of shots including a straight six from Ajmal Shahzad.

It was then the turn of England's bowlers to work out a way past the Australia A upper order.

The hosts got to 16-0 at tea, and Cowan, together with Phillip Hughes, added a further 50 in the final session.

But, with England's four bowlers for the Test match already acclimatising to Brisbane conditions, Bresnan picked up the mantle for the second string.


Bowling from around the wicket, the Yorkshireman had Cowan bottom-edging a pull onto his stumps, before Khawaja got a first-baller, failing to get forward to a ball on a good length just shaping away and edging to Prior.

When a quick delivery at Ferguson kept low and scuttled through the right-hander's defences, Australia A were 84-3.

They recovered a little with an unbroken stand of 44 between Hughes (58) and skipper Cameron White (22).

Bresnan, 25, who has played five Tests and is a regular in the limited-overs team, said it was important for those on the fringes of Ashes selection to remain focused.

"We'll be working very hard. We're not saying the final XI is picked yet. It's going to be a tough winter for all concerned, and I think it's going to be a massive squad effort to win this Ashes.

"Andy [Flower, the coach] said the other day he'll be very surprised if the same XI plays all five games.

"I will too - whether that be injury or form or anything else. You never know what can happen.

"We've been pushed to our limits, getting us ready for whatever can happen."

Tim Bresnan batting
Bresnan enjoyed himself with the bat before shining with the ball

Hughes, who some observers felt should have been named in Australia's Ashes squad of 17, was impressed with Bresnan.

"I thought he bowled really well. He bashed the wicket away all day and he was very consistent with his lines."

A pitch which started the match full of green tinges and providing plenty of help for the seamers appeared to flatten out for a couple of days.

But as Australia A began to lose second-innings wickets, variable bounce was becoming a factor.

"One shot, and a couple of others kept very low," added Hughes.

"But Bresnan still bowled straight. I thought [Chris] Tremlett bowled quite good lines as well."

Looking ahead to Brisbane and beyond, Hughes added: "England are going to be fired up and aren't going to back down, with momentum behind them.

"It's going to be a great contest for the Australian batsmen. The way England are playing, there is no doubt they are going to be confident."

Listen to the Ashes live on Test Match Special on BBC 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW and online (UK users only) - series starts 25 November 2010. Archive: Relive past Ashes series

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see also
Hussey makes bid for Ashes spot
19 Nov 10 |  England
Can England win down under?
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Watch BBC Sport's Ashes trail
19 Nov 10 |  Test Match Special
Friday's Ashes gossip column
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Bell hits ton as England dominate
18 Nov 10 |  England
Tremlett puts England in charge
17 Nov 10 |  England
Bullish Gooch backs bowling call
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England bowlers to miss warm-up
15 Nov 10 |  England
Australia selectors drop Hauritz
20 Nov 10 |  Australia
Live cricket on the BBC
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England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket

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