Blunt England face stiff challenge in tour opener

AFP| Last Updated: Nov 01, 2013, 11:36 AM IST

Perth: England`s batsmen face a daunting task in the opening match of their Ashes tour after the Western Australia Chairman`s XI piled up 451 for five declared.

At lunch on the second day England were 18-0 in reply, against what is effectively a second-string state team made up of fringe first-class players, with Joe Root unbeaten on 12 and Michael Carberry three not out.

WA resumed on 369-4 and lost just one more wicket in the morning session, with Steven Finn (1-123) finally claiming his first scalp of the match.

Every WA batsman reached 50 apart from Tom Triffitt, who was unbeaten on 18. Chris Lynn top-scored with 104.

England`s fringe pacemen failed to impress, with Boyd Rankin (1-92) and Finn claiming a single wicket each, while Chris Tremlett finished with 0-88.

England are missing several key players for the three-day match, including captain Alastair Cook, who has a sore back, and Kevin Pietersen. Fast bowler Stuart Broad and spinner Graeme Swann were rested.