Reflection On Day 1 of Patron's XI (XIV?) V England
First the good news. Trescothick has continued his good Ashes form into the first match of the Pakistan tour by scoring an unbeaten 124 off 209 balls. He was ably assisted by a sparkling 50 from deputy wicket-keeper Matt Prior (batting at no. 10!) and some stern resistance from Giles and Udal as well as a defiant 3 not out of 30 deliveries from Alex Loudon batting at no. 11; all of which allowed England to finish on 256 for 9.
Now the not so good news. Strauss only lasted 4 deliveries for his score of 5 but I'd expect him to complete his international education on the sub-continent especially with the reliable Trescothick taking the pressure off him. Vaughn managed to bat for 38 deliveries (for a score of 9) and so will have gained some useful experience. Pietersen only managed 2 off 11 deliveries, although he has always been a nervous starter and there is every reason to expect his immense talent to shine through.
Now the bad news. England were 61 for 6 at lunch and only managed to recover by virtue of this being a 14 a-side game, (effectively a normal game with 3 interchangeable substitutes) which meant the bowlers did not have to bat. The question I and no doubt the selectors wanted answered was: Bell or Collingwood? There is still nothing to separate them with Collingwood registering a duck off 6 deliveries and Bell only managing 2 off 4 balls. One of these batsmen must play and I wonder if the selectors are ruing their decision to include only 6 specialist batsmen. That's only one batsman to cover any possible injuries or losses of form in the other 5. I would have selected Robert Key instead of Ollie Plunkett, who is very unlikely to play in any of the Tests.
England must bowl out the Patrons team tomorrow in order to give their batsmen more much needed practice.