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Stuart Broad made an impressive return from injury as England defeated Canada by 16 runs in their World Cup warm-up match in Fatullah.
The paceman, who was forced to miss the rest of the Ashes tour after suffering an abdominal injury in the second Test in Adelaide, had figures of 5-39 as the Canadians were finally shot out for 227 chasing a target of 244.
England - with Kevin Pietersen promoted to open - had made 243 all out thanks mainly to half-centuries from Matt Prior, who made 78 batting at number six, and Jonathan Trott (57).
Broad, along with Amjal Shahzad (2-37), promptly ripped through the opposition to leave their reply in tatters at 28-5 before the fightback began.
Pakistan-born Rizwan Cheema led the charge with a blustery 93, but Broad ended his resistance when he returned to the attack, having him caught by Ian Bell after a 70-ball knock that included 10 fours and five sixes.
But the all-rounder's effort rubbed off on the lower order, who suddenly had victory in their sights with 88 needed from 21 overs.
Khurram Chohan continued the fight but he was the last man out at the start of the 47th over when Broad trapped him lbw for 44, no doubt to the relief of England captain Andrew Strauss.
Pietersen had made an acceptable start after the early loss of Strauss, until he became the second of three victims for Chohan.
Strauss managed only a single and fell in the second over of the match, under-edging a pull behind off the skiddy Chohan.
Pietersen was joined by Trott for a stand of 46, only to go for 24 to Chohan - switched to the pavilion end - when his attempt to squeeze a single off the medium-pacer resulted instead in an inside edge on to the base of leg-stump on a predictably slow surface.
Ian Bell was unable to prosper either, trying to steer runs behind square on the off-side but instead edging Chohan (3-34) behind.
Paul Collingwood failed the patience test, stumped on the charge after missing a leg-break from Balaji Rao.
But the in-form Trott was ideally suited to awkward circumstances and responded with a typically hard-working 50 which contained four boundaries.
Prior played admirably too - adding 54 with Trott, who went to a mistimed sweep at off-spinner Davison - and then 51 with Broad, after his Sussex team-mates Mike Yardy and Luke Wright both fell cheaply to Henry Osinde to put England back in trouble on 158-7.
Prior had to rein in his attacking instincts, and was counting only his third four when he pulled Osinde to the boundary to bring up a deserved 60-ball half-century.
He was eventually bowled by a slower ball from the impressive Harvir Baidwan (3-50) but did enough to help add an important 63 with the tail in the last 10 overs.
It should have been far too many for Canada as Broad, whose return to action had been further delayed by illness last week, and Shahzad quickly put the North American minnows on the back foot.
The Yorkshire seamer bowled veteran John Davison with the third ball of the innings before Broad did the same to Nitish Kumar in his first over and he soon added the wicket of Ashish Bagai, the Canada captain presenting Pietersen with a routine catch in the gully.
The procession continued as Jimmy Hansra aimed across Shahzad's full-length swing and was lbw in front of off-stump, and Broad had three when Ruvindu Gunasekera flailed an edge behind.
But Zubin Surkari (22) put on 68 with Cheema before he was caught by Collingwood off Yardy, and Broad's return to the attack paid dividends with the wicket of the destructive Cheema, whose seventh-wicket partnership with Chohan had been worth 60 in nine overs.
It was left to Chohan to attempt to guide the tail towards their target with enough overs to play with, adding 22 with Hiral Patel (13) and 29 with Baldwin (14).
But after putting on another 20 with last man Balaji Rao, Broad, starting his ninth over, finally brought England the win they expected, albeit an unconvincing one.
England's final warm-up match is against Pakistan on Friday, also at Fatullah.
Is it just me or has our ODI outfit seemed to regressed back to the standards and performances of 90's and 2000's? The lack of batting is getting ridiculous at this point. The blame is not only with the crop of players who've showed in the past they weren't up for it but mainly now has to be put on the selectors for ignoring selections that were winning matches for fun and reverting back to the chosen one's squad who have big names based on articles written in the media but not on performances on the pitch. Luke Wright is an embarrassment and one can only assume he must have family high within the ECB for his continued selection since he surely hasn't done anything with bat or ball unless ducks with the bat and runs given up with the ball are now the criteria for English selection? I shouldn't blame him only since there are 3-4 other so-called batsmen in the side again who can't seem to hit a white ball. The sad fact of the matter is there are players inside of England who could really compete for this World Cup but our Selectors, Manager, and Captain have decided to ignore the last 18 months of results and as I said revert back to the crop of players who can never seem to put it together when it matters. Great job by Broad on his return to action, if it wasn't for him this game would of been a total embarrassment.
Posted 12:39 16th February 2011
Excellent report especially as it was only a warm-up game Looking foreward to the next match , could you add next England match details please
Posted 12:30 16th February 2011