11222017

Root finds form with fifty in Ashes warm-up

Joe Root plays a sweep shot

Joe Root scored four boundaries in his 89-ball 58

Captain Joe Root scored his maiden fifty of the Ashes tour as England closed the opening day of their four-day warm-up match against a Cricket Australia XI on 278-8.

Opener Mark Stoneman (61) and Dawid Malan (63) also made half-centuries but no batsman was able to post England’s first century of the tour.

Young leg-spinner Daniel Fallins, in his maiden first-class match, removed four of England’s top six in the day-night match, which is being played with a pink ball in Adelaide.

Playing in conditions similar to those they will encounter in the floodlit second Ashes Test also in Adelaide, England fought hard but struggled to time the ball on a ground with a slow outfield.

Root was the most fluent of England’s batsmen, making a busy 58 from 89 balls, but there were failures for opener Alastair Cook (15) and wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow (9).

‘We were sloppy’

While Surrey left-hander Stoneman looked impressive in reaching a second half-century in as many matches, he was disappointed to be caught at mid-wicket off a Fallins full toss.

Speaking at the close, he said: “Some of the dismissals we had today were a touch on the sloppy side, so it was a little bit frustrating more than anything that we didn’t kick on and probably have a couple of hundreds scored out there today.

“Everyone got a bit of time in the middle, so that was encouraging – but we also need to be scoring hundreds, and big hundreds.

“So there are lessons to be learned from today.”

Analysis

by Adam Mountford, Test Match Special at the Adelaide Oval

England lost three wickets for seven runs in the last four overs under the lights to change a day that was looking satisfactory.

Dawid Malan was out in the last over of the day but he has probably now done enough to cement his place at number five for the first Test at the Gabba on 23 November.

Alastair Cook’s lean start continued and while James Vince played some nice shots in his 33, his disappointing dismissal (bowled by Fallins) will worry those still to be convinced he can play a major innings at this level.

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